With the passage of the 2013 Budget Act, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)—the largest overhaul of California’s K-12 education funding system since the late 1970s. The new policy implements a statewide weighted student formula, creating a system 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, English learners, and foster youth. LCFF also grants school districts with almost full discretion over the vast majority of state funding. The new state 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 frustration for policymakers, educators, researchers, and community members alike.
California policy makers and stakeholders consistently turn to the California Collaborative on District Reform to engage the perspectives of our members in school finance reform debates and proposals. The Collaborative's involvement began in 2007 with a set of briefs and presentations for the "Getting from Facts to Policy" conference convened by EdSource and based on the findings of the Getting Down to Facts studies. Since early 2012, we have focused our efforts on the development, adoption, and implementation of LCFF. As the state moves forward with a new school finance system, our goals in the work are 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.