A new opportunity to expand early learning in local schools is here. In June 2013, Governor Brown approved a state budget that included a new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for all schools in California. The LCFF represents one of the state’s most comprehensive reforms that shifts California to a simpler “needs-based” education funding formula that prioritizes the needs of students at the local level. In 2014, school districts will begin developing a three-year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that will determine local funding priorities.
Along with the spending flexibility provided by the new formula, school districts are required to seek input from parents and community stakeholders as they begin to shape their own, local educational priorities. Because LCFF allows for the inclusion of investing in early education programs, First 5 LA believes that Los Angeles County has an opportunity to address the specific needs of our youngest children by emphasizing early education within the LCFF.
Research shows that early education programs help ensure L.A. County’s diverse child population will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. When all the evidence is considered, high-quality early education services produce meaningful long-term gains for children, particularly those child populations highlighted in the new formula funding legislation.
LCFF GENERAL RESOURCES
- LCFF Webinar Series – Children Now offers a webseries that provides an overview on LCFF, details on the State Board of Education process, regional hearings and upcoming opportunities for LCFF public input.
- Early Edge: LCFF & Early Learning Fact Sheet – This fact sheet by our partners at Early Edge encourages school district leaders and community stakeholders to consider investing in early education programs as we make the transition toward the LCFF. Studies show that early learning programs have improved outcomes for students on at least two of the eight state priorities that must be addressed in the local plans under the new formula.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Parents and stakeholders will play a critical role in how school districts decide to invest resources under the new LCFF. School districts must strongly consider community input when developing a local control and accountability plan. Furthermore, one specific procedure requires school districts to present their proposed spending plans to parent advisory committees for review and comment. This section will provide you with details on how the LCFF works and school district contact information.
- LCFF Fact Sheet – A fact sheet on LCFF with basic information on how the new formula works, the important role that community engagement will play within the LCFF process.
- School District Directory – This directory from the California Department of Education provides a search tool to help locate the contact information for your local school district.
- School District Funding Estimates under LCFF – This link provides a chart with estimated funding projections for every public school district in California under the new LCFF.
- School District LCAPs – Below you will find links to individual Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) for school districts throughout Los Angeles County. The LCAPs describe how districts intend to meet annual goals for all students, with specific activities to address state and local priorities:
ABC Unified School District
Compton Unified School District
Glendale Unified School District
Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District
Long Beach Unified School District
Lynwood Unified School District
Montebello Unified School District
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District
Palmdale School District
Pasadena Unified School District
Santa Monica Unified School District
- Parents Matter NOW – Is a statewide campaign launched by Families In Schools (FIS) to strengthen parent engagement practices across the state. With the implementation of LCFF, FIS, in collaboration with dozens of organizations from across the state, have developed a set of parent engagement indicators that can be used by the state and school districts to better track parent engagement activities.
A Parent’s Guide to School Funding – Developed by Families In Schools, this guide provides a parent-friendly overview of the LCFF priority areas and the Local Control Accountability Plan process, focusing on key information parents need to know and recommended questions parents can ask school district officials to ensure the funds are targeted toward the intended student populations.
Preschool Makes the Difference – Developed by Families In Schools (FIS), this brochure serves as a parent’s guide to understanding LCFF and viewing the new formula as a funding opportunity to expand early learning programs. Esta tambien disponible en en Español.
- Fair Share 4 Kids – A statewide campaign in support of equitable school funding in California under LCFF. This link provides information on projected school district funding under the new funding formula.
RESOURCES FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT LEADERS
As school district leaders, there will be plenty to do as you prepare for implementation of the upcoming LCFF spending priorities within your district. As you begin to set district goals for student improvement and create avenues for parental and community input, having all the up-to-date information on LCFF is essential. This section provides funding estimates for school districts under LCFF as well as well as a documentary on the economic benefits of investing in early learning programs.
- LAO Overview on LCFF – A report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) describing the major components of the new formula, including the state’s new system of district support and intervention.
- CSBA Governance Brief – This piece from the California School Boards Association. provides additional background information on the rollout of the formula over the next eight years.
- School District Funding Estimates under LCFF – A chart with estimated funding projections for every public school district in California under the new LCFF.
- Raising of America Documentary – The Raising of America documentary miniseries also provides a number of multi-media tools linking early child development to a more prosperous nation. The first episode, "Are We Crazy About Our Kids," explores the economics of investing in high-quality early care and preschool.