Parents » School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs)

School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs)

What is a School Accountability Report Card (SARC)?

A School Accountability Report Card (SARC) is a document that provides information about a school's performance and progress. These reports are typically issued annually and contain a variety of information, including academic achievement, demographic data, teacher qualifications, and other indicators of school quality. SARCs are intended to be a tool for parents, educators, and the public to assess and compare the performance of schools.

Why are local educational agencies (LEAs) required to publish SARCs?

In November 1988, California voters passed Proposition 98, also known as The Classroom Instructional Improvement and Accountability Act. This ballot initiative provides California's public schools with a stable source of funding. In return, all public schools in California are required annually to prepare SARCs and disseminate them to the public. SARCs are intended to provide the public with important information about each public school and to communicate a school's progress in achieving its goals.

In the years since the passage of Proposition 98, additional requirements for school accountability reporting and dissemination have been established through legislation. Most SARC requirements are codified in California Education Code (EC) sections 33126 and 33126.1. In addition, similar requirements are contained in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation.

How can a parent obtain a SARC?

2022-2023 SARCs (published during 2023-2024):


Parents with Internet access can go to CDE SARC Online on the California Department of Education's Web site. In addition, as a parent of a child attending a public school in California, you should receive a notice from the school or district about how to find the school's report card on the Internet and how to request a paper copy of the report card. You can also contact the school or the district office to determine the availability of a translated report card.

What information does the SARC contain?

Although there is great variation in the design of school report cards, they generally begin with a profile that provides background information about the school and its students. The profile usually summarizes the school's mission, goals, and accomplishments. State law requires that the SARC contains all of the following:

  • Demographic data
  • School safety and climate for learning information
  • Academic data
  • School completion rates
  • Class sizes
  • Teacher and staff information
  • Curriculum and instruction descriptions
  • Postsecondary preparation information
  • Fiscal and expenditure data

In addition, NCLB requires that SARCs contain reports concerning the "adequate yearly progress" of students in achieving state academic achievement standards; Title 1 Program Improvement; graduation rates at the secondary level; and, starting with the SARCs to be published in 2004-05, the extent to which "highly qualified" teachers are teaching core academic subjects.

How often must a SARC be updated?

School report cards must be updated annually.

How are schools required to distribute the SARC?

State law generally encourages schools to make a concerted effort to notify parents of the purpose of the report cards and to ensure that all parents receive a copy of the report card for the school their child attends. Specifically, schools are required to notify all parents about the availability of the SARC and to provide parents with instructions about how the SARC can be obtained both through the Internet (if feasible) and on paper (by request). If a sufficient number of a school's enrolled students speak a single primary language other than English, state law requires that the SARC be made available to parents in the appropriate primary language.

How can a parent find out more about California's public schools?

If you have questions or need information about a specific school, you can call or write to the school or the district office. You can also schedule an appointment to visit the school and meet with the school's administrators and staff.

Reprinted from the California Department of Education's " A Parent's Guide to the SARC"

For past SARCs, contact the district office.

Page Updated: January 19, 2024