Developing the LCAP: Engaging Communities, Aligning Strategies

Community Engagement - LCAP

Children Now. (n.d.). The importance of community engagement. Originally retrieved on February 17, 2014. A version of this resource that has subsequently been updated is available at http://www.childrennow.org/issue-areas/education/school-finance-reform/lcap/

This piece outlines a three step engagement strategy to address the community engagement requirement of the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) within the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) statute. First, a calendar containing important deadlines for LCAP development can help articulate expectations and establish timelines. Second, thoughtfully engaging representation from a broad cross-section of the school’s community in decision-making can help encourage community buy-in. To maximize participation of critical stakeholders, this piece suggests identifying and providing supports needed to engage parents and communities, such as childcare and concurrent translation services. Finally, investing in participants’ capacity to engage meaningfully by communicating the necessary background, context, and process of the LCAP and LCFF can help prepare them to contribute in the dialogues and decision-making. This piece closes with a list of key strategies for participant capacity-building.

Schurmann, P. (2014, February 14). Promise of CA’ s new school finance law hinges on parents.  [Web log]. Available at http://newamericamedia.org/2014/02/promise-of-cas-new-school-finance-law-hinges-on-parents.php

This article summarizes a news briefing hosted by New America Media (NAM) in which a panel discussed key findings of the report The Power of Parents, in relation to LCFF. The report, conducted by EdSource in collaboration with NAM, highlights the impact of parent involvement on student performance and suggests that when done effectively, it can be a pathway to fulfilling the community engagement component mandated by LCFF. The report finds positive correlations between parent involvement and student achievement, especially for English Learners and low-income students, who are targeted in the LCFF statute. The report also associates increased parent involvement with better school climate and higher teacher satisfaction. While some panel members acknowledged that cultural change can be slow, they expressed trust in this statute’s power to encourage new relationships between districts and the communities they serve.

Children Now. (n.d.). The local control funding formula: What your community can expect. Originally retrieved on February 28, 2014. A version of this resource that has subsequently been updated is available at http://www.childrennow.org/issue-areas/education/school-finance-reform/school-finance-reform-cont/

This high-level overview of the LCFF discusses the critical component of community engagement required through the LCAP. The LCAP, depicted as the center of the LCFF implementation, is a three year plan that districts must update annually and use to explicitly connect resource allocation decision-making to the student goals they intend to achieve. Additionally, this piece underscores that while districts will adopt their final LCAP and budget by July 1 each year, a strategic planning and budgeting process that fully engages all stakeholders should be a year-round process.  This resource synthesizes the law’s requirements for districts to establish substantial roles for parents and the community to participate in the LCAP development process. It concludes with key questions stakeholders can use in order to stay informed and active in LCAP development.