What is the Local Control and Accountability Plan?
The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is a critical part of the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
Each school district must engage parents, educators, employees and the community to establish these plans. The plans will describe the school district’s overall vision for students, annual goals and specific actions the district will take to achieve the vision and goals.
The LCAPs must focus on eight areas identified as state priorities. The plans will also demonstrate how the district’s budget will help achieve the goals, and assess each year how well the strategies in the plan were able to improve outcomes.
There are eight areas for which school districts, with parent and community input, must establish goals and actions. This must be done both district-wide and for each school. The areas are:
- Providing all students access to fully credentialed teachers, instructional materials that align with state standards, and safe facilities.
- 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.
- Parent involvement and participation, so the local community is engaged in the decision-making process and the educational programs of students.
- Improving student achievement and outcomes along multiple measures, including test scores, English proficiency and college and career preparedness.
- Supporting student engagement, including whether students attend school or are chronically absent.
- Highlighting school climate and connectedness through a variety of factors, such as suspension and expulsion rates and other locally identified means.
- Ensuring all students have access to classes that prepare them for college and careers, regardless of what school they attend or where they live.
- Measuring other important student outcomes related to required areas of study, including physical education and the arts.
In addition to these eight areas, a district may also identify and incorporate in its plan goals related to its own local priorities.
How does school funding work under the Local Control Funding Formula?
The state of California began funding schools under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013. Beginning at that time, the base funding for schools was raised to $7,675 per Average Daily Attendance (ADA) in grades Kindergarten through 3 and $7,056 per ADA in grades 4-6. This is the amount of money a school district receives for each day a child is in attendance at school. If a child is absent, for any reason, the district receives $0 for that student on that day.
Under LCFF guidelines, the state recognizes that certain groups of students require that a district provide more services. The state has identified three specific groups: English Learners, Disadvantaged Students and Foster Youth. English Learners are students whose family speaks a language other than English at home and who have limited skills in English. Disadvantaged Youth are those students who live in conditions of poverty. These students are identified because they qualify for free or reduced meals at school under federal guidelines. Foster Youth are those students who are currently living in a foster care setting. If a district has large numbers of these students – over 20% of the student population, then a district receives supplemental and/or concentration funds.
If a district has students who fall into these groups, they receive an additional 20% funding above the base grant amount in recognition of the extra resources required to support them. This extra funding must be spent in ways which benefit these students directly.
If a school district has large concentrations of these students -55% or more of the overall student population, then the district will receive additional concentration funds which equal 50% of the base funding amount. Again, these funds must be spent in ways which directly benefit the students who generated them.