LCFF and LCAP Overview & Resources
In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a new strategy for funding California’s public schools. Known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the law represents a significant shift in priority for public education in the state.
The Opportunity for Students
Under the new plan, every school district will receive more per-pupil funding to better serve its student population. The law addresses issues of educational equity by devoting additional per-pupil funding to students living in poverty, English language learning students, and students living in the foster care system. These supplemental resources help schools provide services to close the opportunity and achievement gap that limit these students’ chances for success in school and beyond.
LCFF carries with it several benefits that will be immediately felt by our school districts:
- Every school district in California will receive more money per student than in recent academic years
- A surrounding community's wealth or poverty will not determine how resourced its schools are; all students receive the same base level of funding
- School sites with a majority percentage students eligible for free/reduced lunches or who are categorized as English language learners receive supplemental funds to serve these students
- Schools can focus on success in only 8 priority areas rather than up to 50 special focus areas
Because school funding streams have been historically complex, we encourage you to watch this brief six-minute presentation that provides a succinct overview of LCFF, presented by Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts for All's Talia Gibas.
A Shift in Educational Priorities
The new law also tasks districts with progress in eight priority areas, a shift from the high stakes testing strategy that only measured student academic performance. Now, additional considerations like levels of parent engagement, overall school climate, and student attendance rates will be included in a district’s definition of success. Each district has an opportunity to set its own goals and then work toward achieving them in each of these areas.
Flexibility & Accountability
While the new funding strategy gives every district more flexibility in how the funding is used, it also creates rigorous accountability measures to ensure parent, teacher, and community voices are included in the process to establish specific goals in the eight priority areas. Through a process known as Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), everyone can participate in steering the district’s priorities and goal setting.
Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and You
An exciting opportunity within the LCFF movement is the LCAP process, which allows every interested community member, parent, teacher, and district employee an opportunity to shape the district's goals within the eight priority areas of LCFF. There are many ways to participate, so no matter how much time you can contribute to this process, there's a way for you to make a difference.
Arts for LA, Arts for All, and the California Alliance for Arts Education collaborated to develop an LCAP Template that offers concrete examples of how districts can implement arts education strategies to improve student outcomes.
LCFF and a Complete Education that Includes the Arts
Click through to access our LCFF/Arts Education Guide to learn how arts education can be a powerful tool for districts to achieve goals in all eight of the LCFF priority areas. Or watch the webinar hosted by the California Alliance for Arts Education on LCFF and arts education advocacy for parents and community members.