The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was signed into law July 1, 2013. It is the largest change to California’s school finance model in almost 40 years and went into effect immediately. The 2013–14 budget package replaces the previous K–12 finance system with a new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF creates base, supplemental, and concentration grants in place of most previously existing K–12 funding streams, including revenue limits and most state categorical programs.
Until full implementation, however, local educational agencies (LEAs) will receive roughly the same amount of funding they received in 2012–13 plus an additional amount each year to bridge the gap between current funding levels and the new LCFF target levels. The budget projects the time frame for full implementation of the LCFF to be eight years.
Complementing the changes to state funding made by the Local Control Funding Formula is a newly required Local Control and Accountability Plan. The LCAP is LCFF’s vehicle for transparency and engagement. It is the way that LEAs are expected to share performance data, needs, actions, and anticipated outcomes that guide the use of available LCFF funding. Before the start of the 2014-15 school year, all LEAs will need to have in place a Local Control and Accountability Plan prior to the adoption of their budget. State Board of Education approved templates will be available prior to March 2014.
According to Education Code section 52060, the LCAP must describe for each LEA and each school within the LEA the annual goals for all students including calling out details for low-income, English Learners, and foster youth that address state and local priorities. The LCAP must also describe the specific actions that the LEA will take to achieve the goals it has identified with budget details that show the level and type of state expenditures made to support these actions.
The state priorities are expressed as metrics for which LEAs are expected to develop performance measures to demonstrate how LCFF and the LCAP support student outcomes. The State priorities include:
Demonstrating compliance with Williams requirements. This includes reporting appropriate teacher assignment, sufficient instructional materials, and facilities in good repair.
Implementation of the academic content and performance standards adopted by SBE, including how the programs and services will enable English learners to access the common core academic content standards and the English Language Development standards.
Parental involvement, including efforts the school district makes to seek parent input in making decisions for the school district and each individual school site, and including how the school district will promote parental participation in programs for economically disadvantaged pupils, English learners, foster youth, and individuals with exceptional needs.
Pupil achievement as measured by multiple indicators including, but not limited to, assessment data, college readiness, and language proficiency.
Pupil engagement as measured by multiple indicators including, but not limited to, rates associated with attendance, chronic absenteeism, dropout (middle and high school), and high school graduation.
School climate as measured by multiple indicators including, but not limited to, pupil suspension and expulsion rates as well as other local measures assessing safety and school connectedness.
The extent to which pupils have access to, and are enrolled in, a broad course of study that includes core subject areas (i.e., English, mathematics, social science, science, visual and performing arts, health, physical education, career and technical education, etc.), including the programs and services developed and provided to economically disadvantaged pupils, English learners, foster youth, and individuals with exceptional needs.
And, pupil outcomes, if available, in the subject areas comprising a broad course of study.
Engagement of a broad group of LEA stakeholders is expected in the development of the LCAP. Specifically, the LCFF legislation calls for governing boards to consult with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and students to develop the LCAP. In fact, before the LCAP is presented to the governing board the LCAP must be presented to a general parent advisory committee that includes parents, guardians, and students within the low-income, English learner, and foster youth; and in cases where 15% or more of the students are English learners and there are at least 50 English learners, a special English Learner Parent Advisory Committee is also required. Should the advisory groups have comments, the Superintendent must respond to comments in writing.