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CommunityPass’s Guide to the California Department of Education’s ELO-P

This guide will go over the basics of the California Department of Education's ELO-P grant.

According to a study done by The Century Foundation, the United States underfunds K-12 public schools by nearly $150 billion annually. This means that to offer your students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, the opportunities they need to succeed, you need to search for other sources of funding.

Luckily, for schools based in California, the California Department of Education (CDE) offers an Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P). It’s a complex program meant to aid disadvantaged students by providing several billion dollars worth of funding, making it valuable for schools and after school programs to apply for.

However, because of its many requirements, many local education agencies (LEAs) find it difficult to apply for the ELO-P. Not to worry—this guide can help you with that. We’ll cover the basics of the ELO-P, its requirements, and how school registration software can make the application process smoother for you. Let’s get started!


  • ELO-P - Expanded Learning Opportunities Program
  • CDE - California Department of Education
  • LEA - Local Education Agency

What is the ELO-P?

The ELO-P focuses on LEAs with the highest numbers of disadvantaged students, defined as English learners and students categorically eligible for free or reduced-price meals. It’s designed to provide funding for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade after school, intersession, and summer school enrichment programs.

These programs are meant to help develop the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs and interests of pupils through hands-on, engaging learning experiences. Plus, it’s the intent of the CDE that these expanded learning programs should be pupil-centered and results-driven. They should include community partners and complement, but not replicate, learning activities in the regular school day and school year.

In 2022-2023, the total amount of funding available for the ELO-P was almost $4 billion. This funding was allocated to qualifying schools with an average student daily attendance rate above 75%. These schools received a minimum of $50,000, or more depending on how many students the school had.

What’s interesting is that California LEAs are actually required to operate an ELO program. That means that you probably already meet many of the requirements of the ELO-P. So, if you’re not applying for the ELO-P, you’re essentially choosing not to receive funds that could really make a difference for your students.

What are the requirements of the ELO-P?

Although California’s LEAs may be required to operate an ELO program, that’s not the only requirement for receiving ELO-P funds. Your LEA’s expanded learning program must also be available to all students and advertised inclusively.

For school years 2021-22 and 2022-2023, LEAs needed to make sure that at least half of their students who qualified for extra support were able to participate in their programs. Starting this upcoming school year, 2023-24, school districts that receive funding at the higher funding rate must offer their program to all students. If they receive funding at the lower funding rate, then they must at least offer their program to students who qualify for extra support and provide any student access to the program if their parent or guardian requests it. Plus, the school district must be able to prove that the right number of students were enrolled in the program.

Some of the other requirements you need to provide for ELO-P funding include:

  • A program plan approved by the LEA’s Governing Board and posted on the LEA’s website
  • A minimum of nine hours of combined instructional time and in-person ELO per instructional day
  • A minimum of nine hours of in-person ELO on at least 30 non school days
  • A student-to-staff ratio of 20:1 for first through sixth grade classrooms
  • A student-to-staff ratio of 10:1 for kindergarten or transitional kindergarten classrooms
  • Travel arrangements for students traveling to other schools for extended learning programs

Additionally, to help support underprivileged families, the CDE encourages participating LEAs to include community support and servicing, such as childcare, as part of their programs.

Applying for the ELO-P with CommunityPass

After reading all of the requirements for the ELO-P, you may be feeling discouraged or overwhelmed by the amount of information you must provide to be eligible for funding. Not to worry—the right school registration software can greatly help with meeting the requirements of ELO-P.

CommunityPass’s school registration solution has a variety of tools that can support your application for ELO-P funding. Some of our standout features include:

Comprehensive Reporting

To help you collect the information needed to apply for funding, CommunityPass’s comprehensive reporting feature includes over 300 pre-built report templates that you can use to make the process quick and efficient. Plus, if none of these pre-built templates work for you, you can create your own in the report builder and designer.

In these reports, you can include information related to attendance, financials, and statistics, to help prove to the CDE why you deserve funding.

Digital Attendance

CommunityPass also offers a digital attendance feature to help you stay in compliance with the CDE’s rules regarding student attendance for your expanded learning programs. It allows parents to digitally check-in and check-out their students from school and provides attendance tracking for instructors. With this feature, you can show the CDE that you meet the daily student attendance rate and show that your ratio of students to instructors aligns with their requirements.

Additionally, you can keep your school safe by keeping track of how many students are onsite at any given time. And you’ll have access to emergency contact information in case anything happens.

After Care

For local education agencies that are planning to support the CDE’s priorities by providing after school care programs for students, CommunityPass has features for you too. With After Care features, you can track enrollments in your program and generate detailed, real-time attendance reports. Plus, you can automate bill payments to make it more convenient for parents. And you can provide flexible scheduling for families to support your community of underprivileged families.

Wrapping Up

The California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Program is designed to help local education agencies provide opportunities for underprivileged students to learn and grow. Although meeting the requirements can be difficult, the process can be much smoother with the right software solution, such as CommunityPass. This way, you’ll have access to a minimum of $50,000 that you can invest in creating a better experience for your students.

If you’re interested in learning more about CommunityPass and how its Comprehensive Reporting, After Care, and Digital Attendance features can help you apply for the ELO-P, schedule a demo with us today.

Click to book a demo of CommunityPass, the software solution that will simplify applying for the ELO-P.