The passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), significantly changes how California funds, evaluates, and supports local educational agencies (LEAs). LEAs, defined as county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools, receive assistance through the System of Support to meet the needs of every student, with a focus on building capacity to sustain improvement and effectively address gaps in student opportunities and performance.
A key concept for the System of Support is that there is “No Wrong Door” from which LEAs may enter. All doors will lead to support, either directly or through a collaborative referral, and it will not be solely upon the LEA to navigate the system. The System of Support is based on a three-level framework. The first level is general assistance that provides resources and assistance that is made available to all local educational agencies. Differentiated assistance is the second level that one or more agency is required by statute to provide to LEAs that meet certain eligibility criteria. The third level is intensive intervention, which is generally required based on persistent performance issues over a specified period of time.
School districts were identified for differentiated assistance, the second level within the System of Support, for the first time with the new release of the California School Dashboard in 2017. More recently, following the release of the 2019 California School Dashboard, school districts are eligible to meet the three out of four consecutive school years, a requirement identified in the 3rd level of the System of Support.
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to serve as a resource to better understand the three levels of the System of Support and the role of the CCEE in helping LEAs prior to transitioning to level three support (intensive intervention).
Within the System of Support, providers (e.g., county offices of education, geographic lead agencies, SELPA leads, charter authorizers, and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence) work alongside LEAs to engage with local educators, families and communities to identify key challenges and opportunities to improve student performance. The first line of support for school districts, and in some cases, charter schools, is the County Office of Education (COE) and the Geographic Lead Agency. Support for All LEAs: This first level of support is voluntary and consists of general assistance that include resources and assistance all LEAs may access to improve student performance. For example, each county office of education provides a range of services such as standards implementation, professional learning and support for business and personnel systems. These services are intended to ensure equitable outcomes for all students and develop the capacity of the LEAs.
LEAs become eligible for the second level of assistance based on student group performance on the California School Dashboard. This support is differentiated and unique to the needs of each LEA.
- For school districts, if any student group does not meet performance standards for two or more LCFF priority areas, the assistance is provided by county offices of education. School districts are eligible for differentiated assistance beginning with performance on the 2017 California School Dashboard.
- For county offices of education, if any student group does not meet performance standards for two or more LCFF priority areas, the assistance is provided by the California Department of Education (CDE). County offices of education are eligible for differentiated assistance beginning with performance reported on the 2018 California School Dashboard.
- For charter schools if three or more student groups, or all student groups if the charter has less than three student groups, does not meet the performance standard for any LCFF priority area in three out of four consecutive years, the charter authorizer will provide assistance. Charter schools are eligible for differentiated assistance beginning with performance on the 2019 California School Dashboard.
When providing an LEA with assistance that is tailored to meet local needs, the LEA and provider (e.g., COE, CDE, or charter authorizer) may collaborate with additional providers within the system of support, such as the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) and the county geographic lead agencies to collectively work with the LEA to identify and implement assistance and improvement strategies.
(Education Code sections 52071 for school districts and 52071.5 for county offices of education; Education Code section 47607.3 for charter schools)
The third level of assistance provides more intensive support, which is necessary if the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) requires more intensive intervention for LEAs with persistent performance issues and a lack of improvement over a specified period of time. School districts and county offices of education become eligible for more intensive support when three or more student groups, or all student groups if there are less than three, does not meet the performance standards for two or more priorities in three out of four consecutive school years.
(Education Code sections 52072 for school districts and 52072.5 for county offices of education; Education Code section 47607.3 for charter schools, although this is not referred to as Level 3 Intensive Intervention for charters)
Following the release of the 2019 California School Dashboard, only school districts are eligible to meet the three out of four consecutive school year requirement. However, for this ongoing intensive support, it is important to note that eligibility is not based entirely on student performance data. Other factors relevant to student performance are considered. Further, intensive intervention will not be made until all other improvement strategies have been utilized (e.g., district eligible for differentiated assistance is receiving support from a county office of education and the CCEE). Therefore, there are no school districts identified as eligible for Intensive Intervention for the 2019-20 school year.
In supporting eligible LEAs transitioning from general assistance to a more individualized approach within differentiated assistance, LEA providers may utilize other forms of improvement strategies with the system of support. LEAs receiving differentiated assistance may, in some cases, be referred by the provider to include the CCEE in continuing to provide support that is individually designed to address the LEAs performance issues. To support this need for differentiation, the CCEE conducts the Systemic Instructional Review (SIR) support as one approach to collaborate with local educators, families, and community members to identify improvement strategies.
The SIR support provides a focused and comprehensive assessment of an LEAs instructional systems, progress on state requirements, and implementation of teaching and learning practices for successfully meeting the needs of all learners. Consisting of three phases, the SIR support will assist an LEA and its providers through differentiated assistance by establishing a core support team (Phase I) that will conduct a thorough and collaborative assessment of the LEA organization (Phase II), and a plan to guide the implementation of recommendations stemming from the SIR support (Phase III).
Following the release of the 2019 California School Dashboard, school districts eligible for expanded differentiated support have been notified by the county offices of education currently providing differentiated assistance.
Eligible districts will continue to participate in differentiated assistance provided by county offices of education. SIR support is not intended to duplicate differentiated assistance but rather complement the assistance by completing a deeper dive into the instructional and organizational needs of the district. The findings from the SIR provide feedback on the progress made to date on differentiated assistance as well as guide future differentiated assistance strategies provided by the county office of education. In addition, the SIR findings will provide one source of information to consider when making the determination if the district should transition to intensive intervention.
When a district is eligible for SIR support it will receive communication from its county office of education regarding this eligibility for additional support. After this initial contact, the CCEE will initiate Phase I, Team Planning and Support of the SIR support process that involves gathering members of the LEA, COE and Geo Lead to identify the core team. During this phase, local educators, families, and community members will also be identified and invited to engage in the SIR support process.
Throughout the SIR Phases, the core team, as determined in Phase I Team Planning and Support, will initiate the collaborative, local process to support the LEA conduct a deeper dive on evidence-based instructional and organizational components. This team is comprised of the district, COE, Geo Lead, CCEE, other Leads from the System of Support. Local stakeholders such as students, families and school site staff including school site administration and teaching staff will be involved in Phase II, Systemic Instructional Review.
Yes, however, this process to support LEAs is meant to be a partnership in which district members collaborate with these agencies and voice district needs, share work that is underway or has been completed, and more. The team will work to help meet the individual needs of each district
There is no additional funding available to districts who are eligible for the SIR support or to county offices partnering in the SIR. All support and resources are currently funded through existing funding streams. CCEE will absorb all costs associated with the SIR support. The county office of education will continue to provide support in the form of time and resources associated with differentiated assistance and implementation of the recommendations upon the completion of the SIR support.
Geographic Leads and other lead agencies will provide support as called for in statute. For example, Geographic Leads will coordinate and calibrate assistance and support for eligible districts within its defined geographic area, expert lead agencies, and special education resource leads (Education Code section 52073).
The district will be responsible for implementing the recommendations and for any costs associated with that implementation. In some cases, those costs may be accounted for in the LCAP or other established funding streams.
The overall SIR support time frame, consisting of the three phases, may take approximately 2-3 years depending on the local challenges and priorities of the district. Phase I, Team Planning and Support begins in the first year and takes approximately 4 weeks. This phase begins with the initial contact CCEE makes with the identified district. Phase II, Systemic Instructional Review, also occurs during the first year of support and takes approximately 8 weeks. Phase III, Ongoing Support and Impact Planning/Monitoring may begin in the first year of support and may take up to three weeks to complete the planning, However, prioritizing and scaffolding of progress in implementation may vary between 2-3 years depending on the needs of the district.
The CCEE team will be available to initiate Phase I, Team Planning and Support with the current set of identified districts in January 2020 and may begin Phase II, Systemic Instructional Review, in February 2020. There may be adjustments and refinements to the schedule based on the availability of the district.
The district continues to take the lead to implement any changes or improvements as recommended in the completed review. Specifically, districts will have agency to determine how the recommendations will be implemented.
The county office of education will support and provide guidance to the district as it implements the recommendations. County office of education staff will function as thought partners with district staff to identify and overcome challenges and adapt strategies when needed.
Geographic Leads will access the wider Statewide System of Support to ensure the district has access to experts related to students with disabilities, English learners, multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), foster youth and others. The Geographic Leads will also provide additional assistance as needed and defined in statute.
The CCEE will provide additional guidance on prioritizing and scaffolding of progress during implementation.
The SIR support will take place at the district and within the surrounding local areas (e.g., school sites and community centers). As a local process, the CCEE will come to the local area to provide the support, thus, increasing the opportunities for authentic collaboration and greater engagement in the process