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State Board of Education to adopt Local Control Funding Formula regulations January 16

Following a preliminary review in November, the State Board of Education (SBE) has taken significant steps to clarify the new rules school districts must follow to demonstrate how state funds will be used to improve educational outcomes for low-income, English Language Learner and foster students. The rules apply to the Local Accountability Plan (LCAP), a new template school districts will develop collaboratively with all stakeholders, including parents, staff, teachers and community members to apply the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to district budgets and educational plans each year. On January 16, the SBE will adopt the regulations to be used by school districts in their March 2014 hearings.

Locally, Santa Cruz City Schools staff met in December with teachers, and again in another meeting with parents and more teachers, to begin the collaborative process of developing our own Local Control Accountability Plan. Additional parent meetings may be held once the regulations and template are approved by the SBE. The Santa Cruz City Schools Board of Trustees must have a final plan adopted by the end of June. Public hearings are slated to being in March.

The Local Control Funding Formula is a historic change to the way public schools are funded in California, in terms of the way money is allocated and the degree to which parents are expected to weigh in on how the money is spent locally. Although Santa Cruz City Schools will not receive any increases in the current school year, over the next 8 years the formula should send more funds to our schools, both in the form of base grants for all students and supplemental money to provide services for high needs students (low income, English Language Learners and students in foster homes). Each year, our school district must adopt a Local Control Accountability Plan that follows the regulations to be adopted next week and demonstrates how state money supports our schools in each of the following state priority areas:

  1. Providing all students access to fully credentialed teachers, instructional materials that align with state standards, and safe facilities.
  2. Implementation of California’s academic standards, including the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math, Next Generation Science Standards, English language development, history social science, visual and performing arts, health education and physical education standards.
  3. Parent involvement and participation, so the local community is engaged in the decision-making process and the educational programs of students.
  4. Improving student achievement and outcomes along multiple measures, including test scores, English proficiency and college and career preparedness.
  5. Supporting student engagement, including whether students attend school or are chronically absent.
  6. Highlighting school climate and connectedness through a variety of factors, such as suspension and expulsion rates and other locally identified means.
  7. Ensuring all students have access to classes that prepare them for college and careers, regardless of what school they attend or where they live.
  8. Measuring other important student outcomes related to required areas of study, including physical education and the arts.

In addition, districts may also adopt local priorities developed with input from parents, staff and the community.

The LCAP/LCFF transition is just one change coming to Santa Cruz City Schools. This year our schools are also beginning to see curriculum changes in all grade levels driven by the nationwide adoption of the Common Core State Standards. In addition, school district leaders are conducting a “listening tour” at all elementary schools to gather community concerns and ideas that will inform a soon-to-be-named task force that will guide the reopening of Natural Bridges Elementary School, planned for Fall 2015. The next stops on the listening tour are Bay View Elementary on January 8 at 6:30 pm in the library and at Gault Elementary on January 14 at 6:00 pm in the auditorium.

LCFF/LCAP Resources

News about LCFF/LCAP