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Some California districts struggle to understand Local Control Funding Formula, report finds

A new report published recently by The Local Control Funding Formula Collaborative, comprised of a team of researchers throughout the state, has found that many districts throughout the state of California still stuggle to understand the best way to develop LCAP plans after three years of operating under the state's Local Control Funding Formula.

According to the report, many districts had difficulty fostering meaningful stakeholder engagement. Some found the LCFF and Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to be competing policy priorities. Questions remained about how resource allocation decisions were made and if LCFF dollars were reaching targetedpopulations. Drawing on these findings, this study focuses on four main issues:

1) the extent of meaningful stakeholder engagement in LCAP development,

2) ways LCFF implementation is advancing or challenging CCSS implementation,

3) how resources are allocated, especially to targeted groups, and,

4) the extent to which LCFF planning and implementation advance equity and coherence.

Edsource cites that small districts in particular needed the most help in understanding the law in order to develop their Local Control and Accountability Plans. They add, ""Researchers who closely examined the impact of the state’s funding formula in eight school districts found a continued commitment to the goals of the new system but an uneven implementation and “consistent misunderstandings and confusion” of fundamental aspects of the law.The researchers reported that some of the districts, faced with rising costs and declining enrollments, are channeling money intended for students targeted for extra resources under the Local Control Funding Formula to basic expenses."

For more details on the report, download the full version here or read Edsource's coverage here.