Throughout California, school districts are now focused on implementing the state’s new fair school funding law, which increases funding to the majority of the state’s districts and recognizes that students with additional academic needs – those who are low-income, English learners and foster youth – also need additional resources to support their education.
Over the next eight years, the Local Control Funding Formula is expected to bring $15 billion more to California schools, with the most money going to districts that support high-needs students.
There are several key legal requirements that school districts must meet in implementing the LCFF, especially around developing the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
To help districts ensure that they are following the letter of the law, the ACLU of California and Public Advocates, Inc. sent county and district superintendents this letter, highlighting key legal requirements for developing the LCAP.
Education Trust-West has developed an LCAP checklist in order to help community stakeholders review LCAPs and help inform their input to local school districts. It may be especially helpful in evaluating LCAPs around legal requirements and clearly communicated goals and actions. The checklist does not, however, evaluate the quality or effectiveness of any proposed programs or services.
The California County Superintendents Education Services Association (CCSESA) has developed an LCAP Approval Manual for the 2014-15 school year. The manual includes useful information around LCFF as well as tools for county offices of education (COEs) and community members, alike, to better understand the LCAP approval process after the July 1st deadline for local school district adoption. Among the tools (in the manual's appendices) are flowcharts addressing each of the 3 criteria for LCAP approval, a "clarification table," to help COEs determine whether they need to request additional information from school districts, and a "strengths and weakness analysis," around COEs providing technical assistance to any district whose LCAP it has not approved.
Want to learn more about the basics of the Local Control Funding Formula?
Visit Ed Source's Guide to LCFF
More background on LCFF is available from the ACLU, in English and Spanish:
* Everything you need to know about the Local Control Funding Formula (PDF)
* (Español) Todo lo que usted necesita saber sobre LCFF (PDF)
And see the Local Control Funding Formula Overview from the California Department of Education
An overview of LCFF provisions for foster youth is available from the National Center for Youth Law's FosterEd initiative
Most school districts will receive funding increases under the new law.
(Español) For suggestions on investments your school district can make to help students be healthier and better learners, see our list of "10 Investments to Improve Student Health and Success," available in English and Spanish.
To look up how much money your district will receive, including how many dollars are generated by students who are low-income, English learners and foster youth, go to FairShare4Kids.org and look in the lower left corner of the page.
To learn about how LCFF funds can help combat summer learning loss, which contributes to the achievement gap, as well as what strategies and sources of data might be most persuasive in advocating for any of your local goals or priorities, see "Making your Program a District Priority," a report from the Partnership for Children and Youth.
Many decisions will be made between now and July 1, when school districts must have created a success plan (the Local Control Accountability Plan) and a budget.
Learn about key dates in the process and about how and when decisions will be made from this Ed Source timeline
Find out what the law requires of school districts, in terms of stakeholder engagement, from this helpful document, developed by a coalition of groups including the ACLU of California and Public Advocates Inc.
Read the State Board of Education's newly-released guidance on what districts, charter schools, and county offices of education should include in their LCAPs
Watch the Children Now webinar: "LCFF 101: Understanding the new school funding":
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