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Where and When To File A Student Expulsion Appeal


Where and when to file a student expulsion appeal

Last Updated on July 26, 2022 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

If a student goes through a school expulsion hearing in California and is unsatisfied with the results (e.g. they lose and are expelled), they must act quickly to appeal the expulsion decision.

Sad after school expulsion- an appeal may be needed
Students expelled can be devastated so an appeal review may be warranted

Expulsion Appeal Time Limits Are FAST

Per California Education Code section 48919, an expulsion appeal must be filed within 30 days of the board of education’s decision to expel.

Appeal Goes to County Board of Education

A student expulsion appeal must be filed with the local county board of education within which the expelling school district is located.  

So, if a student was expelled by a district in Sacramento California, the school expulsion appeal would be lodged with the Sacramento County Board of Education. A student expelled from a school district in Davis California would go to the Yolo County Board of Education. Similarly a student in Auburn, Roseville, or Foresthill, would file the expulsion appeal with the Placer County Board of Education, and so on.

When Does the Appeal Time Limit Calculation Start?

The timeline starts the day the board of education makes their ruling the student be expelled.  

Lower Panel Decision Does Not Start the Timeline

Expulsion appeals can reverse expulsions
An expulsion appeal can cause a student expulsion to be fully reversed and see the student back in school the next day

If a lower expulsion panel (below the school board) ruled on the expulsion, and the board of education has not yet reviewed or accepted the panel’s recommendation, the timeline should not have started. Expulsion decisions, to be final and valid, have to be officially approved by the board of education of the school district expelling.

Negotiated Expulsion Agreements Usually Prevent Appeals

If a parent signed a negotiated student expulsion agreement (often called a “stipulated expulsion”), the appeal right is usually waived by the terms of that expulsion agreement. If a parent then tries to appeal, the school district can take their signature on the agreement and get the appeal dismissed.

Limited Bases to Appeal

If a parent will appeal an expulsion, it is important to review the bases for valid expulsion appeals closely, as they are limited. If a parent does not correctly file the appeal, their appeal may fail as having no legal basis.


Education lawyer Michelle Ball assists parents with expulsion, suspension appeals and expulsion defense. Acting as a California student attorney, she can get involved statewide, in locations such as Fairfield, Woodland, Natomas, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Hollywood, South San Francisco and many other California locations.

Other suggested reading: What To Do After A Student Is Expelled?

originally published June 20, 2011