California’s transition to a new governor, superintendent of public instruction, legislators, and members of the state board of education is an opportunity to reflect on the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Namely, has the school finance system achieved its original goals of promoting local control, equity, and greater coherence in school districts?
California School Finance Reform
Governor Newsom’s January budget proposal outlines plans for a single web-based application that can merge various district reporting tools to increase efficiency and public understanding. Drawing on the experiences of the LCFF Test Kitchen, a new brief offers four recommendations for making the most of this proposal: (1) Articulate the goals and desired outcomes of a single web-based reporting platform to align reporting structures. (2) Engage end users throughout the development process. (3) Foster competition to generate an innovative, single web-based reporting platform design.
This is the second of two briefs coming out of the LCFF Test Kitchen. This brief addresses a broader question underlying the LCFF Test Kitchen: to what extent can user-centered design help us address policy challenges? It identifies lessons learned over the Test Kitchen’s first year and implications for a different approach to education policy. The first brief can be found here.
The LCFF Test Kitchen has enabled three school districts to make progress by leveraging the power of user-centered design. This is the first of two briefs coming out of the LCFF Test Kitchen Work and describes the districts' progress in Year 1 of the Test Kitchen and the solutions it has generated. The second of the two briefs can be found here.
Fostering Innovation: How User-Centered Design Can Help Us Get the Local Control Funding Formula Right
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has introduced positive and much-needed change to California’s approach to K-12 education funding by allocating resources according to student need and freeing districts to make decisions that address local priorities. For all of LCFF’s advantages, however, the Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) in which districts articulate their programmatic and spending decisions have received criticism for being archaic, cumbersome, difficult to complete, opaque, and incoherent.
The Local Control Funding Formula Research Collaborative (LCFFRC)
THE STEEP ROAD TO RESOURCE EQUITY IN CALIFORNIA EDUCATION THE LOCAL CONTROL FUNDING FORMULA AFTER THREE YEARS
The Eduation Trust-West
As they continue to implement the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California educators find themselves struggling to communicate district plans to parents, teachers, and other members of the school community. To help inform the community about districts’ plans and results, many districts voluntarily produced supplementary materials to accompany their 2015 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Following suit, the State Board of Education is considering “executive summaries” as one solution to effectively inform the public.