State law allows PE exemptions for academics.
California Education Code 51222 Courses of Study, Grades 7 to 12
(a) All pupils, except pupils excused or exempted pursuant to Section 51241, shall be required to attend upon the courses of physical education for a total period of time of not less than 400 minutes each 10 schooldays. Any pupil may be excused from physical education classes during one of grades 10, 11, or 12 for not to exceed 24 clock hours in order to participate in automobile driver training. Such pupil who is excused from physical education classes to enroll in driver training shall attend upon a minimum of 7,000 minutes of physical education instruction during such school year.
California Education Code 51241 Exemptions from Requirements
(b) (1) The governing board of a school district or the office of the county superintendent of schools of a county, with the consent of a pupil, may grant a pupil an exemption from courses in physical education for two years anytime during grades 10 to 12, inclusive, if the pupil has met satisfactorily at least five of the six Standard of the physical performance test administered in grade 9 pursuant to Section 60800.
California Education Code 52316 Regional Occupational Centers
Any pupil enrolled in grade 10, 11, or 12, and who is also attending a regional occupational center or regional occupational program may be excused from attending courses in physical education by the governing board of the school district maintaining grade 10, 11, or 12, and in which the pupil is enrolled, if attendance upon such classes results in hardship because of travel time involved. If a pupil is excused from physical education classes pursuant to this section, the minimum schoolday for him in his regular high school is 180 minutes.