CA’s Local Control Funding Formula

What is LCFF?

Governor Jerry Brown reformed school funding in 2013 when he implemented the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). LCFF provides school districts with additional funds for each foster youth, English language learner and low-income youth. Districts are required to use those additional funds to improve the educational outcomes of these targeted groups of students.

LCFF lets districts use the funds in a way that fits them best. With more flexibility there is also increased accountability for improving outcomes through a Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP. LCAPs are three-year plans that must include annual goals that address each of the eight priorities set by the state, including: (1) basic services, (2) implementation of standards, (3) parental engagement, (4) student achievement, (5) student engagement, (6) school climate, (7) access to courses and (8) other student outcomes. Each district must develop and implement their own LCAP with parent and stakeholder input, which makes the budgeting and planning process more open and transparent. Additionally, districts must set out in the LCAP the specific actions, services and expenditures required to meet each annual goal.

Each district submitted its LCAP to the state on June 30. In 2015, districts will report how the actions presented in the LCAP have improved outcomes for students.

How is the Alliance involved?

Foster youth fare persistently poorly on nearly every measure of school success—and do worse than other at-risk youth on a number of those measures. Foster youth are more likely than other students to change schools during the school year, have the lowest participation rate in California’s statewide testing program, and have the highest dropout rate and the lowest graduation rate. With these challenges in mind, the Alliance and our partners formed the Coalition for Educational Equity for Foster Youth and developed a sample LCAP for foster youth that school districts can use when developing their own unique plan.

The Coalition’s Sample LCAP for Foster Youth lays out three goals aimed at improving academic achievement, reducing school transfers whenever possible and ameliorating the impact of transfers that are unavoidable. These goals are supported by a comprehensive set of actions and services that call for improved infrastructure, including school board policies, a district-level Foster Youth Liaison focused on implementation of policy as well as coordination with the child welfare agency and other foster youth education stakeholders, and a cadre of foster youth counselors to ensure that each foster youth gets the supports and services they need to prosper in school.

LCAPwatch_Tile_308px (2)The Coalition has shared the sample LCAP with districts across Los Angeles County and has worked to inform education leaders on the unique needs of foster youth. Districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District have taken elements from our sample LCAP. LAUSD’s LCAP includes nearly $10 million in new services for foster youth and the hiring of nearly 100 new counselors or psychiatric social workers to work directly with foster youth. The new staff will provide each foster youth with a comprehensive academic assessment and an Individual Learning Plan. The Alliance and Coalition partners are currently working with LAUSD to develop trainings and resource materials for the new foster youth counselors.

Members of the Coalition for Educational Equity for Foster Youth, include: Alliance for Children’s Rights, Advancement Project, California Youth Connection, Children and Youth Family Collaborative, Children’s Law Center of California, Hillsides, the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, National Center for Youth Law and Public Counsel.

The Alliance has always made school stability a priority for our clients. LCFF presents us with the opportunity to share our knowledge and materials, including California’s Partial Credit Model Policy Implementation Manual and a guide to high school graduation under AB167/216, which will be useful tools for school districts across the state.

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