(photo: Bill Erickson/Flickr)
For the last year California Forward has been committed to getting the word out about the opportunities that come from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The new school funding law gives districts with high-needs kids more money, which is great. But perhaps more important is the fact that the law gives districts much more control over what to do with their funding.
It’s a message from the State saying it really doesn’t have all the answers, and that local governance breeds tailored solutions that can outperform one-size-fits-all governance from Sacramento.
But for local control to work, the community has to be sufficiently invested so that their voices are being heard. This is why California Forward has shined the light on efforts to involve parents and other community members, be it in the form of our coverage of Families in Schools’ parent outreach or covering Children Now’s webinars on the mechanics of the new law.
That’s not to mention the work with the California School Board Association (CSBA) to host a series of forums throughout the state for district stakeholders on best practices for implementing the LCFF.
The CSBA has also bought into the idea that it’s California’s citizens who may have the most valuable insights into their kids’ education, which is why the Board is collecting public feedback on the emergency fiscal regulations for LCFF that were approved back in January.
The Board is now working toward adopting fiscal regulations, but the time for public comments and feedback on the emergency regulations is coming to an end on March 17th at 5:00 p.m. Comments can be mailed to email@example.com.
Even if you don’t have kids or your children are no longer in the public education system, the LCFF is still critical to the health of the state moving forward. Beyond the obvious economic and social benefits that come from a well-educated populace, the LCFF also stands as something of a litmus test for how well local governance works.
If local stakeholders put in the effort to sculpt the way the new law works for their district and actually improve outcomes in the process, this would not only be a major victory for the LCFF, but for the entire concept of local control. If instead the LCFF is greeted with apathy, kids won’t get what they need most and the law just won’t work, which would represent a disappointing setback for the concept of local governance trumping the top-down model.
The Local Control Funding Formula isn’t just about our kids; it’s about all of us.