LCFF News

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for April 28, 2014

    Parents demand seat at LCFF table in LA VoiceWaves, April 28, 2014

    Parents of Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students shared their questions, concerns, and feedback about their level of engagement in that district's LCFF implementation process. Although they acknowledged that LAUSD has held many community meetings around LCFF, parents asked that future meetings be scheduled with consideration to parents' work schedules.

    Latest Calif. school stats: grad rate up, dropout rate down Capital Public Radio, April 28, 2014

    For the first time, California's high school graduation rate has surpassed the 80 percent mark. Additionally, the dropout rate dropped 1.5 percent from last year, with improvements for Latino and African American students stronger than the overall rates. State Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson cited LCFF and the new LCAP as investments California is making toward accelerating further progress.

    Districts may have funding flexibility to repair and improve school facilities EdSource, April 26, 2014 

    Although there has been a general assumption that only base grant funds can be used to improve school facilities, that is not necessarily accurate. In order to use supplemental or concentration grand dollars on facilities, districts must answer two key questions around how these investments relate to its stated LCAP goals for high-needs students.

    Parent committee questions West Contra Costa school officials about draft accountability plan EdSource, April 23, 2014

    At a public meeting last week, members of the Parent Committee and community members both questioned West Contra Costa Unified School District officials around their recently-released draft LCAP. Among the questions asked were why the document had not been translated into Spanish and why the proposed $2.6 million allocation to place armed police officers in schools had been labeled "student safety and psych support."

    My Future, My Voice! Californians for Justice, April 2014

    Students voice their goals and values around LCFF with the “My Future, My Voice” campaign. Led by the Student Voice Coalition, the campaign aims to win an increased role for students in LCFF implementation. Among the coalition's specific demands are that the State Board of Education create a formal process for student input in the LCFF process, give school districts a menu of investments to make to engage students, and update its guiding questions for LCAPs.

     

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for April 21, 2014

    South L.A. and East L.A. demand LAUSD target LCFF dollars toward high need schools Eastern Group Publications News, April 24, 2014

    Students, community groups, and others advocate for LAUSD to use a Student Need Index to allocate LCFF money among its schools, whose levels of need vary greatly. The data-based Index has identified the 242 schools within LAUSD with the highest needs, most of which are located in the City's Eastside, Southside, or in its Northeast Valley.

    Californians like Common Core education, finance overhaul  The Sacramento Bee, April 23, 2014

    A recent poll, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, found that more than half 68% of all adults and 71% of parents of public school students believe that LCFF funds will improve the academic performance of high need students. When asked whether they were confident that the money would be spent wisely, 53% of all adults and 57% of the parents of public school students answered affirmatively.

    LCFF Impact on California English Learners, low-income, and foster youth Ballard & Tighe, April 23, 2014

    Ballard & Tighe Publishes has released an infographic  illustrating how LCFF works and outlining some of the LCAP requirements relative to the three target student groups. The infographic also includes information around how new LCFF regulations interact with federal regulations around funding for English Language learners (ELLs). You may view and download the infographic here.

    County offices to cut districts some slack for now on their LCAPs EdSource, April 20, 2014

    State and county education officials say they will provide limited oversight for this initial year of LCAP submission, looking mainly for adherence to the LCAP template, evidence that the district have the revenue to meet the commitments laid out in the plan, and that the plan sufficiently explains how the district will improve or expand services for high need students.

    Ed Trust-West releases its fourth annual report cards Ed Trust-West, April 2014

    Ed Trust-West's annual district report cards grade and rank California’s largest unified districts on academic and college readiness outcomes for Latino, African-American, and low-income students. They also provide additional information that may be helpful to parents, students, and other community stakeholders in their LCFF advocacy, such as  the percentage and/or number of low income, foster youth, and English Learner students in the district. You can generate report cards for school districts here.

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for April 14, 2014

    Following the school funding formula: Making reform work in California EdSource, April 16, 2014

    EdSource is tracking the implementation of LCFF in seven school districts across California: East Side Union High, Merced City, Natomas Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, San Diego Unified, Santa Ana Unified, and West Contra Costa Unified.

    Districts face challenge of prioritizing public input on school spending EdSource, April 15, 2014

    Now that outreach to community stakeholders is required by law, school districts must figure out how to organize and use the large volume of input they are receiving.

     Q & A: Engaging the Latino parent community New America Media, April 11, 2014

    A San Francisco Unified School District parent answers questions about the importance of parent involvement, especially from the parents of high needs students. Ms. Ramirez says that parents need to "get to know the educational system and fight for their children."

    Local Control Funding Formula: A comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for high-needs students The Advancement Project, April 10, 2014

    The Advancement Project and its partner organizations,  Community Coalition, and Inner City Struggle, have developed an "aggregate student needs index," a research-based ranking of the highest needs schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The groups proposes that the index be used to more equitably distribute LCFF funds. You can view a map of the highest-need schools in LAUSD here and can learn how need was calculated, here.

    Leg panel rejects local control over specialized ed programs Cabinet Report, April 9, 2014

     An Assembly budget panel decided to keep funds for agriculture education and career technical training for high school students separate from LCFF, for fear that the increased flexibility would lead to less funding for such programs

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for April 7, 2014

    Los Angeles Unified releases its draft LCAP and budget The California Endowment, April 8, 2014

    Last Friday, California's largest school district released its draft LCAP and proposed $6.8 billion budget.

    Index ranks L.A.'s neediest schools, seeking funds Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2014

    This week, Los Angeles area students, community groups, and civil rights leaders unveiled the "student need index," a comprehensive new measure that takes into account test scores, gun violence, asthma, drop out rates, and eight other factors that affect learning. The index revealed clusters of the neediest schools which community advocates argue should receive a majority of LCFF funds.

    Districts develop goals for foster youth EdSource, April 7, 2014

    For many school districts, the development of their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and LCFF implementation is the first time they are explicitly considering the specific needs of students who are in foster care. Foster youth, advocates, and other stakeholders are assisting school districts in developing goals for this subgroup of students.

    School funding: new emphasis on local control The San Diego Union-Tribune, April 5, 2014

    In this op-ed, Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust-West, writes that "by authentically engaging and empowering parents and community members in their planning and budgeting processes, district leaders can really put the 'local' into local control."

    School officials discuss facilities maintenance as part of new spending plans EdSource, April 2, 2014

    A recent Center for Cities and Schools (UC Berkeley) highlighted the LCFF requirement that school facilities be maintained in "good repair." A 2012 survey found that nearly half of all California districts shifted away from their maintenance budgets to pay for other financial needs.

    Bills add more teeth to LCFF requirements Cabinet Report, April 2, 2014

    Senator Mark Wyland, of Escondido, has introduced two bills which would tighten accountability controls in LCFF implementation. The proposed bills would require that LCFF funding be spent on evidence-based programs and services for high needs students and would change requirements for the reclassification of English Learners and include them in the state's Academic Performance Index (API), respectively.

    April 23 Bay Area full service schools summit Center for Strategic Community Innovation, April 2, 2014

    The Bay Area Community Schools Network and Center for Strategic Community Innovation will be hosting a day-long summit around meaningful partnerships in school communities. The summit will take place in Berkeley on April 23. You can register here.

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for March 31, 2014

    April 8 webinar on Attendance Awareness Campaign and toolkit  Attendance Works, April 7, 2014

    Learn how to get involved in the second annual nationwide Attendance Awareness campaign. Given its associations to negative outcomes on academic achievement and graduation rates, and the fact that school districts must include chronic absenteeism rates in their Local Control Accountability Plans,  LCFF implementation offers a prime opportunity to address chronic absence.

    April 10 webinar on LCFF, student health, and success Human Impact Partners, March 31 2014

    By implementing recommended promising practices with LCFF funds, school districts can address the trauma and health challenges students are experiencing and help them stay on track for graduation and a successful life. Additionally, presenters will share information from a research report by Human Impact Partners to help identify promising practices to address the health and educational needs of underserved students in California.

    Teachers make house calls to improve performance  SIA Cabinet Report, March 31, 2014

    In the Central Valley and across the country, the Parent Home Visit Project is offering a different model of family engagement that has led to many positive results including better communication between school and home, and improvements in student attendance rates and test scores. For more information on teacher home visits, see our list of “10 Investments to Improve Student Health and Success” or visit http://www.pthvp.org/

    Parent engagement is key for CA’s new school finance law South Kern Sol, March 30, 2014

    Representatives from local Kern County school districts, including Arvin and Vineland, joined the Dolores Huerta Foundation and California Rural Legal Assistance in a media briefing and roundtable. The event focused on helping local school leaders and ethnic and community media to learn more about LCFF and its requirements around participation.

    LCFF & Common Core: How Los Angeles Unified is managing both California Forward, March 27, 2014

    Los Angeles Unified School District’s finance department answers key questions around the implementation of both LCFF and Common Core and the unique challenges the district is facing as the second-largest school district in the nation.

    Uniform standards urged for reclassifying English learners EdSource, March 26, 2014

    California Senator Alex Padilla’s bill, SB 1108 would require the California Department of Education to recommend consistent standards for reclassifying English Learner students as proficient in English. Presently, the criteria for reclassification used for the nearly 2.8 million current and former English Learner students varies between school districts.

     

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for March 24, 2014

    April 3 webinar on LCFF and Healthy School Facilities UC Berkeley Centers for Cities and Schools, March 26, 2014

    This webinar will provide school community stakeholders with a primer on advocating for the use of LCFF funds to ensure the health of school facilities. Speakers include Kathleen Moore, with the California Department of Education and Joe Dixon, Assistant Superintendent of Santa Ana Unified School District.

    One superintendent's spending priority for new state funds: social workers EdSource, March 23, 2014

    East Side Union High School District, in the San Jose area, has released its draft LCAP, which prioritizes investments in social workers to improve students' social emotional health, teacher coaches to support staff as they transition to Common Core, and parent centers staffed with liaisons to maximize parent involvement. You can read ESUHSD's LCAP here.

     Legislators to state board: Consider changes to school funding rules  EdSource, March 21, 2014

    A group of legislators, led by Assemblymembers Ting and Weber, signed on to a letter to the State Board of Education urging that permanent LCFF regulations ensure that the additional funds be used for the intended high needs student groups: foster youth, low income students, and English Learners. You can view the letter, which was signed by over two dozen legislators, here.

    California report: Don't spend new education money on campus police The Center for Public Integrity, March 20, 2014

    Two California community organizations, Black Organizing Project from Oakland and the Labor/Community Strategy Center's Community Rights Campaign from Los Angeles, have released a new policy brief urging that school districts invest LCFF funds in supporting students rather than in increasing current levels of police and security presence on campuses. The brief can be accessed here

    Districts will get extra funding for foster students, but state has to find them first EdSource, March 19, 2014

    A mismatch in the definition of foster youth between the California Department of Education and Department of Social Services as well as the failure to track foster youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system are making it difficult to determine the number of foster youth students in each district.

     

     

  • Special Report: Assembly Select Committee Hearing in Los Angeles on LCFF

    The Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) in California will be hosting a public hearing in Los Angeles this Friday, March 21 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm, around LCFF implementation within the context of this subgroup of students. All are welcome.

    The elected officials scheduled to participate in the hearing include the Honorable John A. Perez, Speaker of the California State Assembly, Assemblymember Steven Bradford, Chair of the Select Committee on the Status of BMoC in California, and  Assemblymembers Jones-Sawyer, Brown, Wilk, Bocanegra, and Ridley-Thomas.

    The hearing is tentatively organized around three panels.  The first panel will include testimony from representatives of Community Coalition and Ed Trust West, among others, who will provide context for the discussion by giving a brief background of both LCFF and issues affecting the education of BMoC.

    The second panel will focus on LCFF implementation and is set to include representatives from the following local school districts:

    * Los Angeles Unified School District

    * Inglewood School District

    * Fontana Unified School District

    The third, and final, panel will consist of community and legal groups and advocates whose work centers around facilitating community stakeholder involvement in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and budget development processes. Inner City Struggle, Communities for Los Angeles Student Success (CLASS) and the ACLU of Southern California are among the groups set to participate in this panel.

    There will be time allotted for members of the public to provide comments once the three panels have concluded.

    The hearing will be held at the location below:

    James West Alumni Center (on the campus of UCLA)

    325 Westwood Plaza

    Los Angeles, CA 90026

     Hearing organizers are recommending that guests park in parking structure 4 or 7, with entrances off of Sunset Blvd. Parking will not be validated. For an interactive map of UCLA campus and parking structures, click here.

     

  • Special Report: Youth Town Hall with Los Angeles Unified School District on LCFF

    group of youth with advocates at LAUSD town hall

    As part of the Brothers, Sons, Selves coalition, dozens of students participated in a youth-led LCFF town hall last Saturday, March 15. These youth are making their voices heard as Los Angeles Unified School Board leaders work to develop local budget priorities. Now that school districts across the state are soliciting community input on budget priorities—at the direction of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)— students are adding their  important perspectives and concerns to the conversation.

    The students' dedication and leadership impressed several of the LAUSD leaders who participated in the town hall including Superintendent John Deasy, Board Members Steve Zimmer and Monica Garcia, and Dr. Sylvia Rousseau. The youth shared their personal stories around the lack of resources that many of them face within their schools. They also posed serious questions about LCFF and asked LAUSD to support the Student Climate Bill of Rights, use equity to inform the distribution of LCFF funds, and to ensure that high needs students are accurately counted.

    Many of the youth in the room were leaders who were instrumental in LAUSD’s passing the Student Climate Bill of Rights, which favors alternatives that promote positive behavior over punitive school discipline policies. The students asked Superintendent Deasy to use LCFF funds to support the expansion of restorative justice, a process that focuses on repairing the harm done to a school community versus punishing students, by funding more restorative justice counselors in schools. Such investments would likely improve school climate, which is one of the State’s Eight Priority Areas that each Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) must address. Both Superintendent Deasy and Board Member Zimmer agreed that improving school climate should be a budget priority for LAUSD and thanked the youth for their leadership on this issue. 

    Students also suggested developing an equity index, which would take into account a variety of factors in schools and their surrounding neighborhoods that likely lead to negative educational outcomes. They proposed that this index could most accurately identify where the schools with the greatest needs are located so that the funding could be allocated accordingly. The students expressed that an unduplicated count does not take into account the reality that many youth have multiple needs and fall into more than one of the three LCFF target student populations (low income, foster youth, or English Learner).

    Superintendent Deasy told students that such a change would have to be advocated for and made at a statewide, not local, level. He encouraged them to continue to express their concerns and advocate for the changes they would like to see around LCFF and added that the voice of youth is one of the most important and persuasive within this ongoing conversation.  

    If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to learn more about the educational  issues facing many young men of color, the Assembly Select Committee on Boys and Men of Color will be holding a public hearing  on Friday, March 21, on the implications of LCFF for this subset of students.

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for March 10, 2014

    State Board of Education releases new guidance on LCAP WestEd, March 11, 2014

    The State Board of Education has released a new guidance on what school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education should include in their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP).

    Advocates see parent engagement key to LCFF SIA Cabinet Report, March 11, 2014

    Under LCFF, districts must do much more than provide families and parents information or notify them of meetings; they must engage in real and meaningful conversations with community around priorities, goals, and accountability.

    All segments of community involved in Merced school district's accountability plan Merced Sun-Star, March 10, 2014

    Merced Union High School District is holding meetings with community stakeholders including youth, parents, and community organizations as it prepares its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

    Santa Ana parents take charge on school spending Voice of OC, March 10, 2014

    Santa Ana Unified School District is hosting a series of parent and community input sessions to gather feedback on its goals for extra spending under LCFF funds. The sessions began last week and continue through mid-April. The full schedule is available here.

    Department of Education sends letter around English Learners  California Department of Education, March 7, 2014

    The California Department of Education (CDE) recently sent a letter to school district, charter school, and county office of education leaders. In it, the CDE clarifies the goals and requirements for English Learners as part of LCFF.

  • LCFF Weekly News Roundup for March 3, 2014

    LCFF on State Board of Education agenda: Comments due this Friday California State Board of Education

    The State Board of Education welcomes comments  on community members' local experiences with LCFF ahead of its meeting next week. Feedback can help inform the Board's final regulations around LCFF and the LCAP. Individuals can send comments to SBE@cde.ca.gov by noon this Friday, March 7 and must refer to Agenda item 1 in their message. 

    Two out of three valley school districts offering teachers raises The Desert Sun, March 4, 2014

    Palm Springs and Desert Sands Unified school districts have offered their teachers four to five percent pay raises. Coachella Valley Unified has approved a plan to lay off over 50 teachers in order to close a $10 million budget gap.

    LCFF tour brings new clarity to new school funding law California Forward, March 3, 2014

    California Forward and the California School Boards Association kicked off their state-wide tour with meetings in Chico, Sacramento, and Los Angeles last week. The partnership brings technical assistance, early best practices, and highlights the importance of parent engagement and transparency in the LCFF implementation process for local  school boards.

    Parents, students give their say in school budgeting Oakland Local, March 2, 2014

     About 100 parents and students participated in Oakland Unified School District's school board meeting Wednesday and successfully advocated for $1.5 million to be released for school sites to spend at their discretion. Board member Roseann Torres called the 5-1 decision "an investment in our parents."

     

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