In 2013 the Legislature passed and the Governor signed a sweeping change in funding for K-12 education in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Now most funding comes to districts in three streams – base grant, supplemental grant and concentration grant. The base grant is the same for all districts throughout the state, but supplemental and concentration grants are allocated on the number of low income, English language learners and foster youth that each district has. The fundamental premise of the LCFF is that it takes more funding for low income, English language learners and foster youth to meet state standards.
With the new way of funding schools, the Legislature also enacted a new accountability system that requires all districts to develop and implement a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) and update it each year. The first set of these plans were completed last June and the WCCUSD plan was approved first by our Board of Education and then by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. Our LCAP came from a series of town hall meetings, the work of our District Local Control Accountability Committee and after a series of public hearings. The plan lays out how the supplemental and concentration grants are being used to provide services to students and schools as well as detailing the measures and outcomes as a result of the funding.
Since the rules require that districts update their plans annually and since the State Board of Education has made significant changes to the requirements of the plan, we’ve launched the community engagement process that will lead to the development and implementation of the 2015-16 plan. Last month there were two well-attended town hall meetings to gain community input for the District Local Control Accountability Plan committee to begin shaping the priorities for next plan. A third town hall is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at 9:30 AM at King Elementary School. During March, we’ll also be gaining community input from our Youth Commission, our private non-profit community partners, the Academic Subcommittee, our Parent Leadership Symposium conference, as well as at our school open houses.
By the end of the month, the District Local Control Accountability Committee (DLCAP), which is comprised of WCCUSD parents and high school students, will begin review of the first draft of the 2015-16 plan. As a result of the changes enacted by the State Board of Education, the plan will look quite a bit different but will maintain the same focus on improving the learning outcomes for all students and closing the achievement gap that exits for our low income, English language learners and foster youth.
Throughout the process leading to Board of Education approval in June, we’ll continue to update the substantial amount of information that is available on our website under LCFF / LCAP Strategic Plan Information. Because there is so, so much information available at both the state and district level, our staff has developed what’s called an ‘infographic.’ Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. Our WCCUSD infographic is the best place to start to learn about the Local Control Accountability Plan and its impact for our district.
If implemented as designed and if the economy in California continues to grow as it is now, the LCFF will bring the long-term stable funding that school districts throughout the state have needed to make sure our students are college and career ready when they graduate from high school.