California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)

Local Control Spotlight Blog
Designing a More Powerful LCAP
By Ana Tintocalis
November 2017

A recent report entitled California’s Golden Promises, written by education researcher Michael Fullan, underscores this reality:

“Many districts are struggling with the question of how to effectively implement LCFF/LCAP. In some cases LCAP can become an end in itself: ‘We develop the plan to check the box to get the money.’ The latter does not necessarily represent deliberate distortion as much as it reflects the lack of know-how about capacity building strategies.”

In an effort to address the need for more “capacity building strategies,” CCEE is now partnering with county offices of education across the state to offer specialized trainings during the 2017-18 academic year that will equip educators, parents and community members with the knowledge and skills that lead to stronger schools and more successful students.

The first training on Thursday, November 9, is a two-hour free webinar designed by CCEE, WestEd and the San Diego and San Mateo county offices of education to help educators and community leaders develop and strengthen the skills needed to write powerful Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that lead to more equitable, evidence-based, and collaborative decisions.

Under the state’s new school funding and accountability systems, school districts and charter schools are asked to think more deeply about the programs and services they provide to their students – especially low-income children, English learners, and foster youth.

This is a huge break from the past when, under the state’s old way of funding schools, districts were told which programs and services they had to invest in because state educators dollars were earmarked for certain supports.

Now, school districts and charter schools have to explain which supports are worthy of their financial investment because they truly produce results.

“It's a mindset change,” said Jason Willis, director of strategy and performance in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program (CASP) at WestEd. “In some ways we have to unlearn past practices and relearn new ways to best serve kids.”

Research shows low-income children, English learners, and foster youth are the state’s most vulnerable students because they face significant hurdles inside and outside of the classroom: Their families move frequently, they often experience trauma and abuse, they speak a different language, and they’re not adequately prepared to do well in class.

Problems emerge, however, when school districts or charter schools continue to fund programs and services without analyzing and describing the direct impact of the supports within their LCAPs.

“We’re trying is to help districts think better about how they are identifying programs and services that will really make a difference,” said Josh Daniels, CCEE Director of Outreach and Training.

In an effort to help educators and community leaders think and write more critically, CCEE is helping them deconstruct a key section of an LCAP called Demonstration of Increasing and  Improving Services for Unduplicated Students (DIISUP).

Here’s what that section looks like on an LCAP template:

CCEE will help LCAP writers and trainers, as well as educators and community leaders tackle this section by asking them to “reframe” their thinking about the programs and services they provide or want to provide within their districts or schools.

Here’s an example:

If you’d like to review materials for the DIISUP webinar, click here.

CCEE developed this training in direct response to education stakeholder feedback which indicated a need for more practical and specific LCAP skills.

Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, CCEE will tackle other aspects of the state’s new funding and accountability systems through online and in-person training. A series of “deep dive” workshops will also be offered about navigating the CA School Dashboard, the use of data and evaluation, and understanding differentiated assistance.

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