10/29/2014 by Christopher Nelson
CA Fwd and CSBA come together for LCFF “living laboratory”
(photo credit: scui3asteveo)
School districts, like the 58 California counties, are vast and varied in their demographic make and individual needs. So it's significant when a group of them come together in order to determine best practices and guidelines for implementing a law that affects every single district in California in its own unique way.
The California School Board Association and California Forward are proud partners in this effort.
“The LCFF Collaborative Working Group will serve as a ‘living laboratory’ for participants to share their challenges, opportunities and ideas in the governance, management and implementation of the LCFF,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy in a release. “Our efforts will benefit all school districts and county offices of education, helping them improve academic outcomes for all students, regardless of background or geography.”
The Local Control Funding Formula is, of course, the landmark school funding law signed last year by Gov Brown, is an ambitious attempt to reform the way our schools are funded by putting more control over money into the hands of those directly affected: the school boards and districts themselves.
The LCAP is the three-year plan designed by school districts to identify goals and measure progress of student subgroups. It’s a key part of LCFF in that the success or failure of the formula hinges on the LCAP. In fact, the entire concept of LCFF is based in custom-tailored responses to the unique challenges school districts face.
“The Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans serve as models for ‘government closer to the people,’ empowering communities to improve services and deliver better" results for students," said Jim Mayer, CEO of CA Fwd.
The Collaborative will begin on October 29 and will meet quarterly, if not more. The three year project will allow for multiple cycles of LCAP, providing a valuable trial and error setting on a smaller scale before determining what will best fit the needs on a larger scale. Having so many different districts on board will ensure a wide sample that avoids the pitfall of a one-size-fits-all solution.
In addition to identifying LCAP best practices and challenges, the Collaborative will turn its research into reports, presentations and general guidelines that can be shared and amended as time goes on.
Superintendents and school board trustees from the following school districts and county offices will serve on the LCFF Collaborative:
- Antioch Unified School District
- Bakersfield City School District
- Butte County Office of Education
- Calaveras Unified School District
- Corona-Norco Unified School District
- Cupertino Union School District
- Delano Joint Union High School District
- Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District
- Long Beach Unified School District
- Los Angeles County Office of Education
- Modesto City Schools
- Oakland Unified School District
- Riverside Unified School District
- Robla Elementary School District
- San Diego Unified School District
- San Francisco Unified School District
- Shasta Union High School District
Earlier this year, CSBA and CA Fwd partnered on a 10-city LCFF tour to assist governing school boards and local education agencies in the effective implementation of the LCFF and development of LCAP plans.