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Local Control Accountability Plans and Adequacy: Document Analysis of Stakeholder Engagement and Improved Services for English Learners
The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process and the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) are relatively new policies school districts across the state are learning to implement. the intention of these policies is to simplify the California school finance system, better align school district expenditures to local goals, and support the needs of English Learner (EL) students. This study addresses the extent to which the implementation of LCFF has simplified district budget development to meet community-determined goals and the degree to which the state’s goal of serving ELs with additional resources and services has been achieved. to that end, the research questions are as follows: 1) to what degree is input received from local stakeholders included in the final district LCAP and reflected in use of LCFF funds? 2) to what degree has the LCAP addressed the additional needs of ELs as intended by the state? the research questions are answered through a document analysis that includes stakeholder input, the district's final LCAP document, and feedback documents provided to the district from the County Office of Education (COE). the extent to which stakeholders were able to inform the district’s LCAP can be examined through document analysis evaluating how feedback is incorporated. Moreover, the supervisory role of the COEs can be examined to determine the extent to which local goals are impacted to ensure compliance and approval of the district’s LCAP in order to receive funding from the state. Results of the document analysis indicate stakeholder input is included to a strong degree and the needs of EL students are included to a moderate degree. Moreover, opportunities for in-depth engagement were inadequate and the needs of EL students were discussed rarely. on this basis, it is recommended that COEs provide districts with additional support and consider evaluating the LCAP process itself rather than the district’s final document. Further recommendations include supporting stakeholder groups to provide meaningful input, examining the funding model to make adjustments that consider additional demographic data points, and advocating for increased innovation for students requiring supplemental services.
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