This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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State Policies in California  

California state policy leaves local education agencies (LEAs) to determine whether and to what extent acceleration is permitted.

Grade-based Acceleration

Early entrance to kindergarten

State policy leaves LEA to determine.

The Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 changed the required age for kindergarten admission -- to be eligible for kindergarten, a child must be 5 years old by September 1 beginning with the 2014-15 school year.

However, EC 48000 states that "The governing board of a school district maintaining one or more kindergartens may, on a case-by-case basis, admit to a kindergarten a child having attained the age of five years at any time during the school year with the approval of the parent or guardian, subject to the following conditions: (1) The governing board determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the child. (2) The parent or guardian is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance." 

Early entrance to 1st grade

State policy permits.

EC 48011 states that “A child who has been lawfully admitted to a public school kindergarten or a private school kindergarten in California and who is judged by the administration of the school district, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, to be ready for first-grade work may be admitted to the first grade at the discretion of the school administration of the district and with the consent of the child's parent or guardian if the child is at least five years of age.”

Whole-grade acceleration

State policy leaves LEA to determine what, if any, acceleration practices are used in their gifted education programs.

According to California EC 52206, programs for gifted and talented students "shall be planned and organized as an integrated, differentiated learning experience within the regular school day, and may be augmented or supplemented with other differentiated activities related to the core curriculum using such strategies as independent study, acceleration, postsecondary education, and enrichment." Each LEA is tasked with determining which curricular components will be most appropriate for participating students in their school district.

Early high school graduation

State policy specifically permits.

The California Department of Education Early Graduation FAQs may be useful to students who are considering graduating early, and the California Graduation Requirements table also includes useful information.

State Gifted SchoolThe California Academy of Mathematics and Science
Early entrance to collegeState policy permits. California State University's Los Angeles campus offers an Early Entry Program (EEP) and the University of Southern California offers a Residential Honors Program (RHP) for students who wish to enter college early in California.

Content-based Acceleration

Dual or concurrent enrollment in community college, college, or universityState policy leaves LEA to determine whether and to what extent dual enrollment in college is permitted, and whether students can be awarded high school credit for college courses. Some additional options click here, and California Colleges
Middle school students permitted dual or concurrent enrollment in high school

No state policy; up to LEA to determine whether dual enrollment in middle school and high school is allowed, and if so, whether high school graduation credit is awarded for courses taken while in middle school.
Advanced Placement®

State policy permits.

EC 52240 states the benefits of Advanced Placement courses and outlines suggestions to increase access to these courses by economically disadvantaged students.

Talent SearchCalifornia State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State) offers Academic Talent Search (ATS) and accelerated classes for students entering 7-10th grade in the greater Sacramento area.
Credit by examination/proficiency-based promotion

No state policy; up to LEA to determine whether proficiency-based promotion is allowed, and if so, the methods to demonstrate it. LEA also determine advancement options after proficiency and whether graduation credit is awarded for proficiency.
Other forms of content-based acceleration

Typically left to LEAs to determine. If you know of state-level code, please e-mail us.

Additional Information

California Department of Education Gifted Website
California Department of Education
California Association for the Gifted (CAG) -- CAG Position Paper on Acceleration

The information presented on this page was compiled from a variety of resources, including the State of the States in Gifted Education 2018-2019 (a report by the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted and the National Association for Gifted Children), Websites, professional literature, and personal communication. The Acceleration Institute has not verified the accuracy of this information and does not warrant its accuracy or fitness of use for any purpose. Users should verify information prior to taking any action. Furthermore, the appearance of selected programs and/or resources does not imply an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only.