Ask Alicia - The California Endowment Team answers your questions about LCFF

  • Q. Why is LCFF so important, in terms of parent engagement in public education?

    The answer to this question comes from Sandy Mendoza, Advocacy Manager for Families in Schools (FIS). FIS works with schools, community-based organizations, and policy leaders to reduce barriers to greater parent engagement in schools and believes that when schools engage families, families get involved and student achievement increases. Sandy has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit, state government, and business sectors. Before joining FIS, Sandy held leadership positions with Communities for Teaching Excellence and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Many thanks to Sandy for her contribution and expertise.

    What is the importance of LCFF, in terms of parent engagement?

    For parent engagement advocates, California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was a significant victory because it made parent engagement one of eight statewide priorities and holds districts to a higher standard than in the past.

    LCFF directs school districts to consult with parents in developing their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).   It gives districts a lot of flexibility in deciding how they will spend their new school funding.  And with this flexibility comes greater responsibility to effectively engage parents – the very stakeholders whose children generate these education dollars – in the budget decision-making process.

    What would you suggest that districts do, in order to comply with the law while also seizing this opportunity to partner with parents?

    Districts should be very clear and intentional about the strategic ways they will seek out parent input and the criteria they will use in deciding how to incorporate that input into their LCAP and annual update.

    Engaging parents is about connection, not compliance. Too often districts in varying degrees will do the bare minimum to communicate, educate, and collaborate with parents.  Concerns continue to be raised about how districts across the state are reaching out to low-income, immigrant, foster or disadvantaged families and guardians.  Many of these parents face obstacles such as language, lack of work flexibility, financial limitations and limited knowledge of the school system.

    So, it should hardly be of any surprise to see parents reacting critically when they feel undervalued and not included in a process that is supposed to support their child’s academic success.  For example, when districts release and/or post LCAPs only in English even as half of their families are parents of English Learners, you have to pause and wonder what they are thinking.  That is not meaningful parent engagement.  Districts must show a willingness to listen and utilize the feedback not just from parent leaders sitting on a committee, but the day-to-day parents who have just as much to contribute.  Collectively, their inputs can yield much bigger gains for schools and students.

    If LCFF is to deliver the results that everyone hopes for, then offering far more qualitative opportunities and experiences will go far to build mutual trust and stronger teacher-parent-school relationships that will ultimately benefit student achievement.

    Why is it so important that parents and guardians be actively involved now, with this first round of LCAPs?

    What we are deciding now in year one of the LCAP can potentially start to end educational inequities in school funding. These decisions can create dramatic culture shifts that can vastly improve student achievement in our highest-need schools.   But, we have very little time before school boards vote to approve their LCAPs by the deadline of July 1st.  We must move forward with a sense of urgency, if we are to take advantage of this moment of historic change.

    Could you share some more specific strategies and best practices for districts around meaningfully partnering with parents?

    Building a strong parent engagement framework requires that school districts empower parents as agents of change for student success by:

    * Giving parents timely, accurate and actionable information in their home language to support learning at home and at school;

    * Supporting parents to become advocates of their child's needs;

    * Empowering parents to make decisions in the best interest of their child;

    * Providing leadership and training opportunities so parents:

       - are equipped to provide oversight of school performance and

       - have the knowledge, tools, and resources to ensure their child is college and career-ready

    * Training school staff and committing resources to proactively and authentically engage parents.

    For more information on strategies that school districts around the state are using to improve their community communications and outreach around LCFF, click here.

    To learn more about the "Parent Involvement" state priority area for LCFF, please click here.

     

  • Q. What data must each LCAP include?

    A.  In its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), each district must clearly state its goals with regard to the state’s eight areas of specified priority. In order to measure success in each of the eight areas, districts are also required to include data associated with each priority area in their LCAPs. (Districts may choose to include additional sources of data, as well.)

    In its approved LCAP template, the State Board of Education (SBE) has grouped the eight priority areas into three categories:

    1. Conditions of Learning-includes the priority areas of Basic Services, Implementation of Common Core State Standards, and Course Access

    2. Student Outcomes-includes the priority areas of Student Achievement and Other Student Outcomes

    3. Engagement- includes the priority areas of Parent Involvement, Student Engagement, and School Climate

    Below are tables listing the required data that must be included for each of the eight state priority areas, organized by SBE template category and priority area. There are 23 individual pieces of data required for these sections of the LCAP. This information is taken from an overview of LCFF, put together by the Legislative Analyst's Office and available here.

    For your convenience, all of this information is also available as a PDF file, which you can download, print, and share by clicking here.

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  • Q. What can I do to improve my district's LCAP?

    A.  Although there are a number of ways you can get involved in your district's LCAP and budget development and  review process, with the July 1st approval deadline fast-approaching, here are five key steps you can take. It is important to note that  although many districts have not yet released their draft LCAP, now is the time to prepare so that when your district's LCAP is released, you will have the information and tools necessary to make your voice heard.

    You may download the list, "5 Steps to Improve your Local Control Accountability Plan" in English and Spanish. It might also be helpful to you to print and bring the list with you to any LCFF-related actions or meetings and share it with others.

     1. Find out what your district's LCAP timeline is.

    Aside from presenting an LCAP to Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) members, districts must hold two public hearings on their proposed LCAP.  The first of these is to present the LCAP to the community at-large; the second is to approve the final LCAP and its supporting budget. It is important to look into your district’s timeline and find out what the dates of these presentations and hearings will be as they are key opportunities for community members to give feedback on the LCAP.

    2. Get a draft of your district LCAP as soon as possible.

    Many districts have released their draft LCAPs and all will be releasing them within the next seven weeks or so. The LCAP will detail your districts’ annual goals, describe what actions will be taken to achieve these goals, and detail how funds will be spent to increase or improve services for students. It is important to get the LCAP as soon as possible so you can carefully review it and provide meaningful feedback on it. Once adopted, it will be your district’s governing document for the first three years of LCFF implementation. The State Board of Education LCAP template, which every district must use, is available in English and Spanish.

    3. Find out who is on your district's Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC).

    Districts are required by law to respond, in writing, to any questions and comments that the PAC and DELAC raise in regards to the proposed LCAP.  During the LCAP review process, they will be the vehicle through which you can get answers from your school district. It is important to find out who is on these committees, and to engage and work with them during this review process. Some districts list their PAC/DELAC members on their websites, in the area related to LCFF.

    4. Know how much money is coming to your district.

    Go to the Fair Share 4 Kids website to find out how much money your district is projected to receive-- including a breakdown of base funding, which all districts receive, as well as supplemental and concentration grants. It is especially important to understand the amount of your district’s supplemental and concentration grants as these are the funds that districts are legally required to spend on improving or increasing services for low-income, foster youth and English Learner students.

    5. Make use of available resources and assistance.

    Various statewide partners have expertise on LCFF and are available to provide information and assistance. Such assistance can help you prepare for reviewing your district LCAP as well as help you make sense of it and answer any questions you might have, once you've received the LCAP. There are also many resources available on each of the eight individual pages that comprise this site.

  • Q. Why should youth get involved in LCFF advocacy?

    This week’s answer to our frequently-asked question comes from Jamar Green, a 14-year old young man involved in LCFF advocacy in Los Angeles. Jamar was born and raised in South Los Angeles and is of Belizean heritage. He currently lives with his mom, grandmother, and older sister. We are so grateful to Jamar for sharing his point of view and knowledge with our site.

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what led to your being involved in education advocacy?

    Growing up in South Los Angeles, there were good times and bad times- but it definitely seems like there were more bad. At a very young age I started walking down the wrong path; I was tagging, fighting, swearing at adults, pretty much anything possible to land me in trouble.

    Who or what helped you move away from those behaviors and toward working to better schools?

    My years of getting into trouble stopped when my mother connected me to Brotherhood Crusade. They’re a group that does work in my neighborhood and they helped me learn to control my angry outbursts and treat people with respect. My change continued when I joined The Man Project, which gave me more opportunities to show the world my talents.

    One of my opportunities came when I was asked to be a part of the Brothers, Sons, Selves coalition. Along with other young men from The Man Project, and Bloom, which are programs under the Brotherhood Crusade youth development model, we helped the Brother, Sons, Selves Coalition (Every Student Matters Campaign) pass the School Climate Bill of Rights in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), in May of 2013. Schools were kicking kids out at an alarming rate and this bill made school climates healthier for students in many ways like ending suspensions for “willful defiance” and using restorative justice to deal with problems.

    How did you first hear about the Local Control Funding Formula?

    During my work with Brothers Sons Selves Coalition on school climate and school discipline, I learned that a lot of the money given for education was not being spent on the kids who really needed it the most. LCFF can help improve this situation. We are trying to make sure the Local Control Funding Formula makes schools in all districts, especially LAUSD, more equal and changes the way we decide how much money our schools receive.

    Why is being involved in LCFF advocacy important to you?

    I would say that I really care about this law because it helps the people who need it the most, which are English learners, foster youth, and low-income youth. As someone who falls under one of those three groups and lives in South Los Angeles, I know that the schools in and around my neighborhood need a lot of help. We don’t have the basic things we need for learning, like enough books for all of the students. The LCFF will help change those conditions drastically. One thing LCFF does that I love is it gives students in these three groups an equal playing field with schools that have more than we do. Growing up in South Los Angeles, a lot of times that opportunity is not given. Now that I have the power to help create the changes we need, I’m going to use it. I am glad to be a part of a coalition that sees how important it is to create better conditions for young men and students like myself.

    What are some of your plans for the future?

     My plans for the future are making sure I continue to advance and help other people get to the point where I am, doing well and getting involved. I'm already carrying out my plans by doing things that make me and my friends around me better. As for education, I plan to get into a great high school so I can go to my dream college, Morehouse College in Atlanta. I plan to continue advocacy work around young men of color and hope to one day sit in a position to make great change in the country and world.

  • Q. What happened at the latest State Board of Education meeting and how can I get involved?

    Eduardo Aguilar, Education Policy Associate with Children Now, provided the answer to this question. Children Now seeks to find common ground among opinion leaders, policymakers, and interest groups so that, together, they can develop and drive "win-win" approaches to helping all children achieve their full potential. We are grateful to Mr. Aguilar for his contribution.

    A.  The March 12th California State Board of Education (State Board) meeting was marked by a much more subdued tone relative to the packed house sessions that preceded it in November and September. With education administrators and community leaders deep in the trenches of implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), much of the discussion was spent on highlighting examples of “what’s working” in the field as school districts transition to the new funding formula.

    A key focus of the meeting centered on the how districts are developing their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which is at the core of LCFF’s implementation. This topic was anchored by the presentations from two Central Valley communities that were invited to share on their LCAP efforts. Both presentations offered up an interesting take on the use of the LCAP template with both communities voicing their need to make adjustments to the template to allow for a more complete document that demonstrates a clearer connection between districts’ intended goals and actions.

    A highlight of the meeting was the presentation delivered by Families in Schools President and CEO, Oscar Cruz, who spoke to the importance of creating meaningful and authentic opportunities for parent engagement to promote true and long-term local accountability. This message was strengthened by the use of a helpful infographic that captured the 6 components of meaningful parent engagement. At the heart of Mr. Cruz’ message was the need to engage, equip and empower our parents to be effective advocates and partners within the LCAP development process.

    Related to the topic of authentic engagement is the need to elevate and extend the opportunity to engage students more explicitly within the LCFF and LCAP processes. Several community partners along with Jesse Zhang, the student member on the State Board, touted the need for a more concrete role and opportunity for student input and involvement.

    Along with the need to more effectively engage parents and students, several leading state and local education advocates made sure to bring attention to the need to provide clearer direction on how supplemental and concentration dollars must be used to support the targeted populations that generated them. Among these organizations were the American Civil Liberties Union, California State PTA, California School Boards Association, Children Now, EdTrust-West, EdVoice, PICO-CA and Public Advocates.

    A step in the right direction to provide greater transparency would come from the State Board clarifying existing emergency regulations to better guide districts and schools to account for these dollars within their own accounting systems. Without clearer regulations, funds intended to help close the achievement gap will simply roll into more general school funding streams and fail to support high-needs kids. By providing more explicit guidance on establishing proactive and transparent systems for tracking LCFF dollars, school and district leaders will have the clear direction needed to establish a system that improves student outcomes.

    The State Board will use collected public feedback from letters and comments made at the March 17 meeting to adopt permanent fiscal regulations in the summer or fall of this year. As LCFF is implemented at the local level, it is crucial that local stakeholders remain informed of decisions at the state level to ensure these regulations provide school districts with additional clarity and ensure the intent and goals of LCFF are realized. Here’s a resource to understand the ongoing work at the state level and what’s next: http://lcff.childrennow.org/implementation/pending-policy-decisions

    LCFF presents an incredible opportunity for California schools. Chief among these is the opportunity to reestablish a level of trust between districts and the communities that they serve.

    In order to not let this opportunity pass us by, education and community leaders will need to continue working together to establish a new way of getting things done that is grounded in authentic and meaningful dialogue and transparent decision making that is focused on maximizing every resource available to ensure the success of kids.

  • Q. Can school districts use LCFF funds for salary increases and/or to pay off debt?

    The answer to this question comes from the American Civil Liberties Union of California (ACLU of CA) and Public Advocates Inc. The ACLU was founded to defend and secure constitutional rights and to extend them to people who have been excluded from their protection. Public Advocates Inc. is a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing and transit equity. Many thanks to David Sapp with the ACLU of Southern California and to John Affeldt and Liz Guillen with Public Advocates for their expertise.

    A.  Districts may use base funding to pay off debt and for salary increases.  They may not, however, use supplemental or concentration funding to pay off debt because paying off debt does not "increase or improve services" for the high-need students who generate those funds.

    In general, districts cannot use supplemental or concentration funding for across-the-board salary increases because increasing salaries for all teachers generally will not “increase or improve services” provided to high-need students.

    Although LCFF provides school districts with increased flexibility over how they use state funds, the fundamental premise of LCFF is that districts are supposed to spend their funds to improve the outcomes for the students who generate the funds.  Under LCFF, funding is generated from three sources:

    * all students generate base funding;

    * districts receive additional grants, called supplemental funding, for each high need student (low-income student, English learner, or foster youth); and

    * if over 55% of a district’s total enrollment are high need students, the district receives additional funding, called concentration funding, for each student over that threshold.

    Districts must use supplemental and concentration funding to “increase or improve services” for high need students who generate those funds, and the increase or improvement of services must be “in proportion to” the increase in funding the district receives because of those students.  Regulations recently adopted by the State Board of Education state that increasing or improving services means “to grow services” in quantity or quality.

    For more detail on the use of LCFF funds for each of these purposes, please see the ACLU and Public Advocate memos around paying off structural debt and salary increases.

    To view and download the ACLU and Public Advocates' list of key questions that you can ask about your district's plans to spend money intended to benefit high-need students, click here.

    For additional resources around LCFF for parents, students, and community members please visit ACLU of Southern California's LCFF resource page, which includes many bilingual (Spanish/English) materials.

  • Q. What does the Local Control Funding Formula mean for foster youth?

    For the answer to this question, we reached out to  Melissa San Miguel, Policy Manager for FosterEd, a National Center for Youth Law initiative.  Prior to joining NYCL, Ms. San Miguel worked as a legislative coordinator with The Education Trust and also gained experience at California Forward, the California Department of Education, and the Commonwealth Club. We are deeply appreciative of Ms. San Miguel's contribution to our site.

    A. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) recognizes that some students  - our low-income, English language learner and foster youth students - need additional resources to help them reach their college and career dreams. The LCFF holds great promise for foster youth, but in order for that to become a reality, districts and counties need to develop strong goals and sets of actions specific to foster youth in their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) to ensure foster youth receive the supports and services they need to succeed in school and thrive in life. 

    Children who are in foster care have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. In many cases they move from one living placement to another, and as a result, often change schools. In Fall 2013, WestEd released Part 1 of a groundbreaking report titled, The Invisible Achievement Gap, which detailed how California’s foster youth perform in school. It didn’t look good. The report found that twice as many foster youth performed ‘below basic’ and ‘far below basic’ on state academic achievement tests than students statewide, were much more likely to drop out than any other at-risk student group, and only 58 percent of foster youth 12th graders graduated as compared to 84 percent of all 12th graders in California. Without educational success, foster youth are not equipped to thrive beyond school or support themselves. Studies have found that over a quarter of former foster children experience homelessness and their unemployment rates are greater than 50 percent.

    To begin to address the foster youth achievement gap, California became the first state in the country to hold itself accountable for the educational outcomes of foster youth. The LCFF added foster youth as a distinct student subgroup to the state Academic Performance Index (API). Now that foster youth are part of the API, the LCAPs must explain how each district will improve their educational outcomes and close the foster youth student achievement gap. 

    As districts and counties develop their plans, they should consult their county child welfare agency, county office of education’s Foster Youth Services coordinator, caregivers, and foster youth themselves. Foster parents/guardians and foster youth should ask when community meetings will happen and possibly request a meeting specific to foster youth with their school district. Sharing their experience and needs with district officials will be important so that staff writing the plans can address them. All of these stakeholders should participate whenever possible in the public meetings focused on LCAP development.

    To make sense of the LCAP and what it means for foster youth, the Los Angeles County child welfare agency, former foster youth and an assortment of foster youth education experts came together as the Coalition for Educational Equity for Foster Youth. The coalition drafted samples of what strong LCAP goals and actions look like for foster youth. The California Foster Youth Education Task Force, a statewide coalition of over 35 state and local agencies committed to improving the educational outcomes of foster youth, recently endorsed the sample foster youth district LCAP and foster youth county LCAP.

     

    The sample LCAPs and other LCFF resources related to foster youth can be found on the FosterEd website. FosterEd is an initiative at the National Center for Youth Law that works to improve the educational outcomes of foster youth nationally.

     

    The LCFF is a promise to foster youth - that additional resources along with local decision-making will translate into additional educational opportunities and improved educational success. To make a difference in the lives of our foster youth, implementation will be key. Districts will need to work on a strong LCAP to ensure foster youth have the resources and infrastructure they need to be enrolled in school right away, stay at the school they currently attend even if they move to another school district, graduate from high school and succeed in school so they are prepared academically to enter a college or university. Foster youth are our children - the state's children - and they deserve an opportunity to succeed and live out their full potential. Together, we can help them get there.

     

    For more information on foster youth issues, please contact Melissa San Miguel at msanmiguel@youthlaw.org.

     

  • Q. What can school districts do to improve their communications and community outreach?

    A.  As the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) development process continues, districts across California are working to reach out to and engage school community stakeholders, as the law requires. Parents, students, and other community members' perspectives will be vital in determining the local priorities and goals, which will be reflected in the LCAP and budget. Some districts are going the extra mile to engage community members with strategies including the following:

    * Reaching out to stakeholders in their preferred languages

    * Providing the community with a timeline and/or sense of where the district is within the LCAP process

    * Collecting input from community members in a way that can directly shape LCAP and budget

    * Sharing important data and information about schools and students

    * Providing opportunities for parents, students, and others to become meaningfully involved in the LCFF implementation process

    We've gathered a few of the most promising approaches we've seen among school districts in terms of communications and community outreach, below.

     Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD)

    * Survey- SCUSD collected input from parents and students via online and paper surveys. The surveys were made available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, Russian, and Vietnamese and allowed participants to rank different activities for each of the State's Eight Priority Areas as well as suggest additional services and activities for the school district to invest in with LCFF funds.

    * LCAP Timeline and Process- Within a PowerPoint presentation, which the district provides on its website, SCUSD outlines its LCAP development process, Community Planning Process,  timeline, and lists potential community partners to engage with in LCFF implementation.

     * Data- SCUSD has made data directly related to each priority area available to stakeholders both in the form of English, Spanish, and Hmong handouts provided at LCAP Advisory Committee meetings and on its district website.

    * Volunteer Opportunity- SCUSD invited community members to get involved in the LCAP development process by participating as a Public Education Volunteer (PEV). In order to accommodate volunteers' different schedules, the district made the one mandatory training session available in mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Additionally, SCUSD provided volunteers with translation and childcare services during training sessions.

    San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD)

    *Multilingual LCFF Overview-  SDUSD has made a downloadable PowerPoint presentation on LCFF available on its website in English, Spanish, Arabic, Somali, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

    * FAQs- The district provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions about LCFF, in Spanish and English, on its website.

    * Input- SDUSD solicits community feedback around LCFF on its website through its bilingual (Spanish/English) stakeholder input form and by providing website users with an email address where they can send any comments or suggestions around LCFF. Additionally, the district will be gathering community input for their LCAP by hosting a series of 16 "cluster" meetings across SDUSD. Each cluster is comprised of a high school and the middle and elementary schools that feed into it and is led by a democratic council of diverse stakeholders. You can find the dates and locations for these cluster meetings here.  

    Where can I find more information on strategies that school districts can use to engage and work with communities on LCFF implementation?

     * WestEd has created a great (and short!) list of Tips for Stakeholder Engagement

    * Families In Schools has a great graphic representing their vision for authentic parent engagement and also produced report on the importance of parent engagement to the successful implementation of LCFF.

     

     

     

  • Q. What are the State's 8 Priority Areas for LCFF?

    A.  The State Board of Education selected the following eight areas as those toward which LCFF funding should be directed:

    * Student Achievement: measuring success through test scores, English proficiency, and college preparedness, which are all important to continue California's recent improvements: nearly 8 out of 10 students (78.5%) who started high school in 2008-09 graduated with their class in 2012 (Learn more about achievement rates)

    * Implementation of Common Core state standards: transitioning to the new academic standards (Learn more about Common Core)

    * Course Access: ensuring all students have access to classes that prepare them for college and career, regardless of what school they attend or where they live (Learn about the courses required for admission to University of California campuses and see how many California students have completed these requirements)

    Basic Services: guaranteeing well-maintained school facilities and up-to-date materials (Learn about how schools that are safe and in good repair improve learning)

    * Student Engagement: focusing on steps schools can take to help kids feel more enthusiastic about learning so they miss fewer days and become more likely to graduate (Learn more about student engagement)

    * School Climate: promoting a calm, positive and productive school environment, including reducing suspension rates and misbehavior (Learn more about school climate)

    * Parent Involvement: participating in school district decision-making and the progress being made by their children (Learn more about parent involvement)

    * Other Student Outcomes: physical education, the arts, and other areas of study

    Each Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and budget must demonstrate how funds will be used to address each of these areas and improve outcomes for all students as well as for specific student subgroups.

  • Q. What is the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP?

    A.  LCAP stands for a Local Control Accountability Plan, which each school district must write to explain its goals and strategies for improving achievement for all students. Each district receives extra money for each student who is low-income, an English learner, or a foster youth. The plan must detail how these funds will be used to increase and improve services specifically for these students.  

    The LCAP will spell out the strategy and goals for three years. The school district must then develop a budget that matches spending to the goals outlined in the plan. The plan and budget must be approved by July 1, in time to take effect in the 2014-15 school year.

    The State Board of Education recently adopted the LCAP template that every school district, county office of education, and charter school must complete.  The LCAP template is available in English and Spanish.

    What is the structure of the plan?

    The template divides the process for developing the LCAP into three sections and provides guiding questions for each section. 

    Section 1: Stakeholder Engagement

    First, each school district must describe the steps it has taken to meaningfully engage and solicit input from parents, students, and community members in developing the LCAP. Other specific actions that should be described in the LCAP include what information was made available to stakeholders, whether information was shared in a timely and accessible manner, and how stakeholder feedback helped to shape the LCAP.

    San Diego Unified School District is working to engage its diverse community stakeholders by collecting questions and comments and providing an overview of LCFF presentation  in 6 languages (English, Spanish, Somali, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Arabic) on its website.

    Section 2: Goals and Progress Indicators

    In this section, each school district must list its annual goals for all students as well as for specific subgroups of students (including racial/ethnic subgroups, the three target subgroups-- English learners, low income students, and foster youth-- and students with disabilities).

    Districts must also detail their goals with respect to each of the State's eight priority areas and provide the required data for each priority area. The template organizes the eight priority areas into three categories:

    A. Conditions of Learning: (Basic Services, Implementation of Common Core state standards, and Course Access)

    Progress measures for this section could include the rate of teachers who hold appropriate credentials for the class(es) they are teaching, the level of repair of school facilities,  how far a district has come in implementing Common Core standards, and how easy it is for students to enroll in all required classes

    B.  Student Outcomes: (Student Achievement and Other Student Outcomes)

    Some potential progress measures here could include the rate of English Learners who become English proficient and are reclassified, the share of students who are college and career ready, and a district's standardized test and Academic Performance Index scores.

    C. Engagement: (Parent Involvement, Pupil Engagement, and School Climate)

    Progress toward engagement could be measured by items including a district's specific efforts to seek parent input in decision making, school attendance, dropout, and graduation rates, rates of suspensions and expulsions, and results from parent, pupil, and teacher satisfaction surveys.

    Section 3: Actions, Services, and Expenditures

    Here, each school district must detail the specific services and actions that will be implemented in order to help all students as well as specific student subgroups to meet the goals described in Section 2. Each action or service must be accompanied by information on the actual costs to implement it as well as information on where in the district's budget the item can be found. For services and actions that will serve low income students, English learners, or foster youth, districts must specify whether supplemental or concentration funds are being used in a district-wide or school-wide manner.

    How and when will my local LCAP be created? How can I make my voice heard?

    All districts must adopt their LCAP by July 1, 2014. To start the process, districts should engage school stakeholders and create Parent Advisory Committees (and, in some cases English Learner Parent Advisory Committees, as well). We've compiled a list of important questions to ask your district at this stage, available in English and Spanish.

    After working with school stakeholders to develop an LCAP, districts must present the LCAP to Parent Advisory Committees so that they can review and comment on the plan. In addition, districts are required to notify members of the public that they may also review the plan and submit comments. Next, the district must respond to the Committees' comments in writing. Once these requirements have been satisfied, and by July 1, districts must adopt their plans in public hearings. The adopted LCAP is then sent to the county office of education, which can then accept or seek additional clarification and changes to the LCAP.

    Learn more about the data required in the LCAP in the Legislative Analyst's Office overview of LCFF and the LCAP process.

    The National Center for Youth Law's FosterEd initiative has put together an overview of the LCAP process for foster youth.

    The ACLU of Southern California also has a great background document on the LCAP, available in English and Spanish.

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