The Education Trust-West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college.

School Finance

School Finance

Building a More Equitable and Participatory School System in California: The Local Control Funding Formula’s First Year

California’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dramatically changed the way the state funds its school districts, directing greater resources to districts serving large numbers of low-income students, English learners, and students in foster care. LCFF also shifted substantially more control to school districts and communities.

Publication date: 
December 16 2014

New Ed Trust–West Report Describes First-Year Implementation of California’s Local Control Funding Formula; Finds Hope and Barriers to Equity Moving Forward

OAKLAND, CA (December 16, 2014) – California’s landmark Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dramatically changed the way the state funds its school districts, directing greater resources to districts serving large numbers of low-income students, English learners, and students in foster care. LCFF also shifted substantially more control to school districts and communities. A new report released today from The Education Trust–West describes California’s first-year implementation of LCFF.

“LCFF offers great promise for all of California’s students, but especially for our state’s highest need students,” said Ryan J. Smith, executive director of The Education Trust–West, a statewide education advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and students in poverty. “A year into this bold reform, now is the time to pause and ask ourselves if we have made decisions that will raise the achievement of our low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.”

CALIFORNIA’S NEW EDUCATION FUNDING FORMULA: What is it? Who benefits? What does it mean for students? How can I get involved?

In July 2013, California dramatically reformed the way we fund our schools. The new law, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), replaces an outdated and unfair education funding system. In this guide, we provide parents and community leaders with the information they need to ensure that LCFF is not just about local control and flexibility, but also—and most importantly—about educational justice.

To access this community guide and additional information about LCFF in multiple languages, go to the FairShare4Kids.org website. You will also find:

Publication date: 
December 3 2013

Coalition of Education Supporters Launches New Online Resource to Support Public Transparency Around School District Plans Across California

OAKLAND, CA (July 8, 2014) – With each of California’s 1,000 school districts required to adopt their first Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as mandated by the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), The Education Trust—West and a coalition of over 30 partner organizations from across the state launch the LCAP Watch website toda

Ed Trust–West Releases Statement in Response to Governor Brown’s 2014-2015 State Budget

OAKLAND, CA (June 20, 2014) – Valerie Cuevas, Interim Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement following Governor Brown’s signing of the 2014-2015 state budget today:  

“We commend the Governor and the Legislature for accelerating the implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by providing an additional $4.7 billion in the 2014-15 budget. This additional funding will strengthen the work of school districts to serve our neediest students and close achievement gaps. Unfortunately, we remain concerned about two issues. The Governor and the Legislature chose not to designate additional funding for implementation of the Common Core State Standards. All students will be subject to more rigorous state standards and assessments, but not all students will have access to fully prepared teachers, and adequate technology and instructional materials. As a result, opportunity and achievement gaps could be exacerbated rather than narrowed. Furthermore, the plan for increasing employer contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) will double the cost of retirement benefits for school districts without a plan for funding the increased contributions. Without a plan for additional funding, the increased contributions to CalSTRS will be paid at the expense of funding for the LCFF, including supplemental and concentration funding for needy students.”

LCAP Evaluation Checklist

This month, districts across California are holding public hearings on their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and will adopt final budget plans by the end of June. During this exciting time, stakeholders have the opportunity to review and comment on these plans. To help support that process, The Education Trust—West (ETW) has developed a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Evaluation Checklist.

Publication date: 
June 6 2014

Ed Trust-West Releases LCAP Evaluation Checklist

Dear Friends and Partners,

This month, districts across California are holding public hearings on their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and will adopt final budget plans by the end of June. During this exciting time, stakeholders have the opportunity to review and comment on these plans.

To help support that process, The Education Trust—West (ETW) has developed a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Evaluation Checklist. Our LCAP Evaluation Checklist is designed to help stakeholders—including advisory committee members and the general public—review district LCAPs and frame their comments and questions. It is meant to assist in evaluating whether an LCAP meets legal requirements and whether it clearly communicates district goals and plans in keeping with the spirit of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). It is not meant to evaluate the quality or likely effectiveness of proposed programs and services.

Ed Trust–West Releases Statement in Response to Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision

OAKLAND, CA (May 13, 2014) – Valerie Cuevas, Interim Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s May Budget Revision:

 

“We are happy to see that our state’s economic recovery is helping California schools receive more funding for the second year in a row. We applaud Governor Brown for his leadership and his continued commitment to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and his effort to eliminate deferred appropriations to schools. Unfortunately, we are disappointed by the lack of additional funding for the implementation of new content standards and the inadequate funding for the technology infrastructure needed to implement new computer-adaptive assessments. Without a substantial investment in these areas, achievement gaps could be exacerbated rather than eliminated. We urge the Governor and the Legislature to reconsider. Also as California explores proposals for a Proposition 98 reserve and for paying teachers’ retirement benefits, we must not lose sight of the needs of our most vulnerable students.”

New Analysis Finds FAFSA & Cal Grant Applications Rising; Too Many Students Across California Still Not Applying for Financial Aid

OAKLAND, CA (February 25, 2014) – An analysis of newly available FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and Cal Grant application data from the California Student Aid Commission released today by The Education Trust—West finds that while the number of California high school seniors who complete FAFSA and Cal Grant applications is up from last year, there are still too many students across the state who are not applying for financial aid.

The new data reveal that the number of high school seniors who completed FAFSA and Cal Grant applications rose from 2012 to 2013, from 54 percent to 61 percent for FAFSA and from 50 percent to 58 percent respectively. Still, the fact remains that nearly 170,000 12th graders (42%) from the class of 2013 did not complete a Cal Grant application. The new findings can be found in the latest “Equity Alert” brief from The Education Trust—West, titled, Doorways to College Aid, the follow up to last year’s full report, The Cost of Opportunity: Access to College Financial Aid in California. The brief also includes a list of the Top 100 high schools in California for FAFSA completion.

The Education Trust-West 2014 Policy Agenda

The past several years have jolted California’s education system like never before. Seismic shifts in school finance, standards, curriculum, and instruction sent shockwaves through our state’s education policy landscape. Long-familiar landmarks in school finance, accountability, and assessment were replaced by a host of new initiatives, including the Local Control Funding Formula, the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, Common Core State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. In the coming years, as they ripple through our education system, these new initiatives have the potential to shift California’s focus more towards equity and close our state’s achievement and opportunity gaps. But we also know that without close attention to equitable implementation, these initiatives could widen existing gaps and create new fissures between our highest need students and their more advantaged peers. In our 2014 Policy Agenda, we recommend steps that policymakers should take in four core policy areas to ensure that students of color, low-income students, and English learners benefit from the changes in our education landscape.

Publication date: 
February 14 2014