California's previous complex education funding model has been replaced by the simplified Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). In 2013-14 California adopted the LCFF, which sets an equal $ per student allocation for every district based on grade level. (Elementary receives additional per pupil funding for class size reduction, high schools get additional per pupil funding for Career Technical Education). Districts are also allocated funds to meet the needs of the Low Income, English Learner, Homeless and Foster Youth students in the district.
What does this mean for our districts and charter schools?
Under LCFF, California has shifted the responsibility to the school districts and charters for how the money will be spent. The expectation is that districts and charters will act based on the needs of all of their students. This is local control. The accountability for the LCFF funds lies in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). All School Districts are required to produce an LCAP, demonstrating how the LCFF funds are linked to meeting the needs of all students. Each LCAP must address the eight state priorities and incorporate specific metrics the state has defined to monitor the priorities. Working with stakeholders, the LCAP outlines actions and services that will lead to attainment of the district goals and eight priorities for all students. Stakeholder review and input is an integral part of this process. Parent, student and public input is used in developing and refining the plan annually.
The eight state priorities are:
Basic Services - Sufficient instructional materials, school facilities maintained in good repair, and appropriately assigned and credentialed teacher
Implementation of State Standards
Broad course of study
Pupil outcomes in the broad course of study
This new funding formula presents a historic opportunity to focus on improving student outcomes, closing achievement gaps, and increasing the level of communication between our schools and our community.