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Local Control Funding Formula

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.

June 2019

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… Read More

April 2019

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… Read More

February 2019

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… Read More

February 2019

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… Read More

July 2017

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… Read More

July 2016

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… Read More

January 2016

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), a state-required document in which districts describe their goals, their strategies to achieve these goals, and the resources allocated to support these strategies, is a central component of California’s… Read More

November 2014

California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has introduced changes that alter the conditions under which educators, administrators, and community leaders approach their roles in the K-12 education system. Consequently, leaders at all levels… Read More

July 2014

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) represents a fundamental transformation of the way California allocates state funds to school districts and the ways the state expects districts to make decisions about (and report on) the use of these funds… Read More

April 2013

Eight superintendents on the California Collaborative on District Reform, as well as the chair of the group, wrote a letter urging Joan Buchanan, the chair of the Assembly Education Committee, to pass the the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in… Read More

May 2012

The California Collaborative on District Reform, led by 10 district leaders from across the state, issued a letter to the Governor urging the state to move forward with a weighted pupil formula (WPF) to improve our state’s ability to educate… Read More

October 2007

In October 2007, EdSource hosted a policy convening in response to findings from the Getting Down to Facts research project. These four briefs were prepared by a working group of district Collaborative members to inform the dialogue of this “Getting… Read More

July 2016

  Collaborative Explores Ways in Which Combined Academic and Workplace Learning Can Advance Equitable Student Opportunities
February 2020 High school pathways seek to align coursework under a broad theme and provide access to rigorous… Read More

November 2012

November 2012 In November of 2012, members of the California Collaborative on District Reform (CCDR) joined many district officials from urban, suburban and rural areas and statewide advocacy groups in an invitation-only series of working group… Read More

June 2016

Both CALMatters and Palo Alto Online highlight the prominent role Mike Kirst, President of the State Board of Education, has played in key education changes in California over the past few years. Characterizing the longstanding state education… Read More

November 2015

In an Education Week blog post, Arun Ramanathan, CEO of Pivot Learning Partners, suggests reshaping the Local Control Accountability Plans’ (LCAPs) to better match 21st century processes and sensibilities. Drawing from his experience as a special… Read More

August 2015

A new book chapter from Collaborative Chair Jennifer O’Day describes how California’s solutions to troublesome policies and funding structures have positioned the state to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) well. In “A Window of… Read More

March 2015

Collaborative member Jonathan Raymond, president of the Stuart Foundation and former superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District, participated in a panel about implementing California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that was… Read More

September 2014

Ted Lempert, President of Children Now, spoke at a Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) kickoff meeting hosted by the League of Women Voters® of California. In an article written for the September kickoff, LCFF Regulations a Step in the Right… Read More

August 2014

A Cabinet Report article features perspectives from State Board of Education (SBE) president Mike Kirst on reforms to the usage of the Academic Performance Index (API) for California schools and districts. Kirst suggests that the most recent… Read More

August 2013

In an op-ed appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Kirst argued that California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is only the first of many challenging yet critical steps to ensuring that students leave high school… Read More

July 2013

Edgar Cabral, principal fiscal and policy analyst in the Legislative Analyst’s Office, co-authored An Overview of the Local Control Funding Formula, which describes the details of California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and accompanying… Read More

May 2013

As a panelist at the 2013 EdSource Symposium on Saturday, May 4th, Richard Carranza expressed his support for Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).  He argued that this proposed re-design of California’s school finance system would… Read More

March 2013

In a recent interview with New America Media, Mike Kirst discussed the legal and political history of California’s current education finance system and how Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can more equitably… Read More

March 2013

Christopher Steinhauser authored an op-ed, appearing in the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Los Angeles Daily News, in which he expressed his support for Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).  He argues that this proposed re-… Read More

January 2013

Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Tony Smith co-authored an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle arguing for state school finance reform to reduce current funding disparities among districts, increase local control over use of funds,… Read More

August 2012

Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jonathan Raymond co-authored an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee arguing for greater efficiency and equity in California’s school funding system through transition to a weighted pupil formula.  Last… Read More

October 2015

Meeting 29
November 12-13, 2015
Sacramento, California The California Collaborative on District Reform convened in Sacramento for a two-day meeting, Fulfilling the Promise of LCFF: Improving the LCAP. At the request of State Board of… Read More

March 2015 - March 2015

Meeting 27
March 5-6, 2015
Fresno, California The California Collaborative on District Reform convened on March 5 and 6 in Fresno for a two-day meeting, Accountability and Support in a Coherent System of Continuous Improvement. The… Read More

April 2014 - April 2014

Meeting 24
April 2-3, 2014
Los Angeles, California The California Collaborative on District Reform convened in Los Angeles for a two-day meeting, Developing the LCAP: Engaging Communities, Aligning Strategies. The meeting explored many… Read More