California’s system of education resource allocation—the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)—features a statewide weighted student formula that establishes an equal level of base funding for all students in the state, targets greater amounts of funding to districts with students that qualify for free or reduced price meals or are English learners or foster youth. LCFF also grants school districts with almost full discretion over the vast majority of state funding. The funding formula represents a dramatic departure from the previous system, whose antiquated funding allocations and complex set of programmatic requirements tied to specific funding streams produced significant inequities as well as frustration for policymakers, educators, researchers, and community members alike.
California policy makers and stakeholders have turned to the California Collaborative on District Reform to engage the perspectives of our members in school finance reform debates and implementation approaches. Through briefs that weigh in on key implementation issues, special projects like the LCFF Test Kitchen that seek to spur innovation, and meetings designed to inform policy improvements, the Collaborative aims to maintain the flexibility that local educators need to meet the needs of their student population and broad community while ensuring equity and access for all students, particularly those traditionally underserved by our education system.