LCFF, LCAP – What Do All the New Acronyms Mean?
And what will Jerry Brown’s new method for allocating money (LCFF) to California schools mean for Piedmont? If you missed last Thursday’s Budget Advisory Committee meeting, other recent public discussions hosted by the District, or remain generally mystified by all the new acronyms, here’s the abbreviated story:
Last year’s passage of Prop 30 means the five-year trend of cuts to K-12 education funds will slowly be reversed through the new Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF.
The goal of LCFF is two-fold: one, to provide additional resources to be spent on low-income students, English Language Learners (ELL), and students in foster care; and two, to ensure that districts provide information about program and budget development, and seek input from their parent communities through something called a Local Control Accountability Program, or LCAP. While still a work in progress, the LCAP will be particularly relevant for large districts with wide diversity in their student populations.
As far as Piedmont’s revenues are concerned, the District expects to see a slow return to 2008 funding levels by 2018. It’s important to note that our district, not being home to many ELL or low-income students, will not see big jumps in revenue like some districts. Although no longer in crisis, Piedmont will continue to manage the budget with the same steady hand and disciplined approach; and while some program planning flexibility is expected, the District does not anticipate meaningfully expanding program.
Stability and collaboration win the day. Piedmont managed the budget crisis of the last five years carefully and collaboratively, with the help of community (through the 3-year Emergency Parcel Tax E), parents (through donations and fundraising) and teachers and staff (through negotiated furlough days and freezes to salary schedules). The District avoided many program cuts and destabilizing swings other districts have endured and are now experiencing with the ebb and flow of dollars and mandates. For example, many districts are scrambling to reinstate programs that Piedmont managed to sustain during the downturn, such as 6-12 Counseling Services and K-3 Class Size Reduction.
With the new LCAP mandate for community engagement and open communication, Piedmont finds itself ahead of the curve with a count of some 52 public meetings since this past September alone. This includes publicly posted School Board, Site Council, Parent Club, Budget Advisory, Curriculum Forum, special education, GATE, tech, ELL, Green, and other parent education meetings, as well as one all-community visioning workshop, Shaping Our Future, whose participants numbered over one hundred. Anyone interested in more information may attend and tune into any of the venues offered, starting with Wed’s School Board meeting at 7 PM at City Hall where the LCFF is on the agenda. (For more specifics, please visit EdSource which is posted on the PUSD website and can be found on the Portal Homepage as well.)