Thursday, October 2, 2014

2014-15 signals first year of Local Control and Accountability Plan implementation

In June 2013 a new era of school finance in California was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The new funding model, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), represented the biggest change to funding K-12 public education in California in decades.

Students at Benchley Weinberger “It reshapes school funding, with the promise of additional funding, trying to return to the funding levels of six or seven years ago, and provides us more flexibility in determining how state funding will be used to achieve our academic priorities,” said Jenny Salkeld, Chief Financial Officer.

The LCFF ensures that more money is attached to meet the needs of school districts’ most at-risk students. The three categories of students requiring greater resources include students who qualify for free or reduced priced meals, students who are English Learners, and foster youth.

As part of the LCFF, school districts, county offices of education and charter schools are required to develop, adopt, and annually update a three-year Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCAP is required to identify annual goals, specific actions, and measure progress for student subgroups across multiple performance indicators, including student academic achievement, school climate, student access to a broad curriculum, and parent engagement. The academic priorities must be aligned to the district’s spending plan.

As part of the district’s focus on transparent communications on the LCFF and LCAP, Superintendent Cindy Marten will provide monthly LCAP Implementation Reports to the Board of Education that include the alignment of Vision 2020, the 12 indicators of a quality school in every neighborhood, and which details LCAP Year 1 activities. The reports will include actions, services, and baseline data. These reports will then be shared with cluster and advisory groups to provide an opportunity to provide input and feedback on the current implementation and suggested next steps.

The first report was provided to the Board at the September 23 meeting, and focused on Quality Indicator 12 – Safe and Well-maintained Facilities and how this indicator helps us achieve a goal of creating physical, social and academic environments worthy of our students.

“We have developed metrics to show what we are doing with the funding, how we allocated it, and what the results are,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “We have more than 30 measures to indicate how we’re doing for every funding allocation and every decision we’re making for our dollars.

“My monthly reports will allow me the opportunity to share where we are in implementing our LCAP so our community can hear each month how we’re doing and provide us feedback,” Marten said.

Video clips of the presentations, excerpted from the Board meetings, will be posted on the LCAP web page under the Resources section.