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Best Practices LCFF

Best Practices for School Districts as They Implement LCFF

As California works to implement the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), school districts are working to transition to LCFF and its new approach to planning and adopting local budgets. Local school district budget decisions should be designed to improve student success and must be made with the input of parents and community members. Although the State Board of Education will provide further direction on LCFF’s implementation between now and 2016, there are many important deadlines, strategies and considerations for school districts within this time frame that will determine the ultimate success of LCFF. Here’s an outline of best practices districts and communities can undertake together to successfully implement LCFF past and present (scroll to see most current information):

Create a community engagement strategy

August 2013 – June 2014 Effective community engagement is a cornerstone of LCFF. School districts should establish a process and infrastructure for engaging parents and community partners in their local school’s planning, decision-making and budgeting processes.

Craft a vision for student success

October 2013 – February 2014 District leaders, parents, community members and other engaged stakeholders should work together to set a local vision and multi-year strategy for how to achieve student success.

Prioritize district investments

January 2014 – March 2014 School districts should begin working with parents and community members to prioritize new investment strategies for 2014-15 to improve student outcome.

Align local planning and budget efforts with the LCAP template

March 2014 – April 2014 By this time school districts should be working to align local visions, strategies and funding decisions with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)template which will guide the district’s budget planning process and outline how decisions meet specific state priorities. LCAPs must be adopted every July.  The LCAP will allow parents, community members and stakeholders to asses and evaluate funding decisions in relations to local goals and student outcomes.

School districts adopt their LCAP

July 1 2014 School districts must adopt their LCAP that will guide the district’s budget planning and outline how that district will meet specific state priorities.

Utilize school site planning process to develop budgets

September 2014 For many districts, school site plans are developed after a district’s budget is adopted. To more effectively engage school site stakeholders – parents, community members, students and teachers – this school site planning process could also be used to provide suggestions on funding decisions and help drive the budget planning process before it is adopted.

Monitor progress and make adjustments

September 2014 – February 2015 The LCAP is a three-year plan that is intended to be updated annually. While the impact of any particular investment approach could take time to yield expected results, it is essential to monitor progress of student achievement and determine if adjustments in funding decisions and investments are needed.

 Prioritize district investments

January 2015 – March 2015 School districts should begin working with parents and community members to prioritize new investment strategies for 2015-16 to improve student outcomes.

Communicate current status and vision

March 2015 – July 2015 Districts can use their locally developed LCAP to communicate to parents, community members and engaged stakeholders the district’s goals and strategies for improved student outcomes and what progress is being made.

Strengthen planning and budget processes

July 2015- July 2016 School districts should work to continuously improve how the LCAP is developed and ensure ongoing multi-year planning and budgeting with the input of parents, community members and stakeholders to achieve the intent of LCFF and reach improvements in student outcomes.

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