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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