Source: California Department of Education webast

Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, testifies before the State Board of Education.

Members of the State Board of Education uniformly praised the way school districts have created plans to comply with California’s new school improvement and accountability system, but said Thursday that students should have more of a voice in the process. They agreed to move ahead with modest proposed changes in regulations while counseling patience before making more.

“Trust the process, be patient and thoughtful, not precipitous,” said board member Patricia Rucker.

“We’re close, with narrow areas of disagreement,” board member Sue Burr said, referring to regulations governing the Local Control and Accountability Plans, or LCAPs, that all school districts and charter schools passed for the first time last month.

The LCAP is a three-year master plan that lays out a district’s budget and academic improvement priorities. It’s a critical piece of the Local Control Funding Formula, the landmark school funding law that reallocates more money for “high-needs” students – low-income children, students learning English and foster youth – and transfers decision-making authority from the state to districts. As part of the shift to local control, the Legislature required that districts reach out to parents, teachers and others in the community in creating their LCAPs.

“We have never seen so much engagement and reaching out. We have changed California with the LCAP,” said Wes Smith, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators.

The state board is in the process of revising the regulations setting out what must be in each LCAP and defining how much flexibility districts have in spending the supplemental dollars generated by high-needs students.

Based on public comments and early LCAP reports from the field, the staff of the state board is proposing changes in the LCAP format to make it easier to read and determine whether a district is meeting its commitments. The staff is also proposing two seemingly small ­changes in wording that are generating some debate.

One change would make explicit the existing requirement that districts consult with students about the LCAP. About 150 students in a Student Voice coalition attended Thursday’s hearing. They included a contingent from Long Beach and Los Angeles that drove all night to make the case that the proposed language doesn’t ensure that districts will involve students in creating their LCAPs, rather than giving them the plans after the fact.

Maurice Lemons

Credit: John Fensterwald/EdSource Today

Maurice Lemons, a student at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, attended Thursday’s state board meeting.

“We no longer want to be students sitting silently behind a desk with our hand held high, waiting to be called on,” said Maurice Lemons, a junior at Hamilton High, an arts magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. “No, we want the opportunity to give input into the system that most directly affects our lives and our futures.”

Board members agreed, encouraging further tweaking of the proposed language. “The intent of the statute was to engage students early in the process and not merely present (the LCAP) toward the last week of school,” said board member Bruce Holaday.

The other proposed addition of a half-dozen words reflects ongoing disagreement between advocates for low-income children and organizations representing school boards and superintendents. The advocates want a detailed accounting of how money is spent on high-needs students, while the school officials’ groups argue the LCAPs should focus on academic results for underserved students, not dollars. Gov. Jerry Brown and the state board have sought a balance between the two camps, and the current regulations reflect that tension and ambiguity.

The proposed change, which the advocates groups support, would require districts to spend supplemental dollars in ways that are both “principally directed” toward high-needs students and “effective in meeting the district’s goals” for those students.

Brian Rivas, director of policy and government relations for Education Trust-West, which advocates for low-income and minority children, said the intent was to prevent districts from steering supplemental dollars toward across-the-board staff raises or debt payments that don’t primarily benefit high-needs students. John Affeldt, managing attorney for the nonprofit legal organization Public Advocates, said the new wording wouldn’t hinder the flexibility of districts to spend money on programs benefiting all students, but it would force them to justify the rationale to the community.

But more than two dozen superintendents and school board members testified that the proposal would be too restrictive. They said it would be the first step toward turning the LCAP into “just another compliance-based document” and a potential source of litigation.

Josephine Lucey, president of the California School Boards Association, warns that proposed language governing LCAP spending would be counterproductive.

Source: California Department of Education webast

Josephine Lucey, president of the California School Boards Association, warns that proposed language governing LCAP spending would be counterproductive.

“In our view, the term ‘principally’ is subjective and its insertion will result in less, rather than greater, transparency,” said Josephine Lucey, president of the California School Boards Association. “This term distracts from the goal (of the funding formula) –  to improve student outcomes and close achievement gaps – and begins an erosion of local decision-making.”

The issue remains unresolved. The proposed changes will be open to an additional 15 days of public comment. Burr said she wants superintendents to be specific about how “principally” would limit their decision-making. The state board will vote on the language in either September or, if there are further changes, in November.  A coalition of civil rights and advocacy groups is expected to propose additional changes, including a requirement that the LCAP detail all expenditures using supplemental funding.

Superintendent after superintendent praised the LCAP process and said it is working to engage parents and create new goals for student achievement.

Holding up a copy of his district’s LCAP, Morgan Hill Unified Superintendent Steve Betando said, “We made a commitment to engage our community and we did,” through six months of intensive meetings and daily conversations.

“We have never seen so much engagement and reaching out,” said Wes Smith, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators. “We have changed California with the LCAP.”

Board member Carl Cohn didn’t stop there. “This is the most exciting thing in American education today and makes me proud of our state. This is really big change.”

But there also critics and skeptics – parents who complained that their districts ignored them and that the LCAPs weren’t translated or written in plain language. San Jose Unified parent Jackie Gamboa said she didn’t understand her district’s LCAP after reading it a half-dozen times. In Stockton Unified, said Cynthia Chagolla, an attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance, “Parents had been told there was a place at the table but promises were broken.”

Dolores Huerta, the civil rights leader who cofounded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers, also spoke at the board meeting. Kern High School District – her local district – has one of the highest student suspension and expulsion rates in the state, she said. Instead of adding counselors, it is spending money on security. Instead of directing money to low-income students it is spreading supplemental money across all students, she said.

“What more can we do to make our high school district follow the guidelines?” she asked.

Board members struggled with the same issue – what to do about those districts that don’t follow the rules and are, in Cohn’s words “a poster child for bad behavior.” Who should respond, he asked: the state, the county office of education, the California School Boards Association?

“If I were a member of CSBA, I would be on the phone with them,” Burr said. “’How can we help you?’”

It’s the job of county offices of education to monitor districts and respond to problems, other members said. However, they said at this point they didn’t want to change regulations in response to the worst cases.

“We should not remediate too fast,” said board member Ilene Straus. “We have 1,000 districts.”


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  1. Concerned Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    Also, Mr. Fensterweld, Can you please post the e mails to the board who oversees the new ed code rules of the update of the LCAP. Us parents really are in the dark on how to participate with our e mails of input. I just happened to find your article and I thank you for writing it. I suggest you start including your website on all your articles and helpful e mails to the people you report on so … Read More

    Also, Mr. Fensterweld,

    Can you please post the e mails to the board who oversees the new ed code rules of the update of the LCAP.

    Us parents really are in the dark on how to participate with our e mails of input.

    I just happened to find your article and I thank you for writing it.

    I suggest you start including your website on all your articles and helpful e mails to the people you report on so that the general public can understand how to voice opinions on such issues as the LCAP to the decision makers who pass ed code or state law.

    The parents need more info to participate, and also, the LCAP was not done right for to understand if parents even did play a role in decision making

    instead, parent input was
    measured by parent talk

    no info was done

    as

    to

    Parent decisions accepted and used in the spending of any monies.

    concerned parent

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 1 year ago1 year ago

      Dear Concerned, My guess is that after having spent a year discussing and revising LCAP regulations, including stronger requirements for parent participation, the State Board will not likely change them further this year. My suggestion would be to read the new regulations, which are pretty clearly written (start on page 8, the template that districts must use), take a copy to your next school board meeting and ask the board how it plans to improve … Read More

      Dear Concerned,

      My guess is that after having spent a year discussing and revising LCAP regulations, including stronger requirements for parent participation, the State Board will not likely change them further this year. My suggestion would be to read the new regulations, which are pretty clearly written (start on page 8, the template that districts must use), take a copy to your next school board meeting and ask the board how it plans to improve on last year’s process. I would also write your county board of education members, reiterating your experience with the LCAP and demanding that the county take a more assertive role in monitoring the district’s parental involvement requirement.

      I would also sign up for WestEd’s emails and information. WestEd is handling the information and outreach process for the State Board. The next webinar on the LCAP process — explaining the new LCAP regs — is in January. Follow this link.

      I anticipate that the Legislature will be considering some bills to tighten up requirements on how money for low-income students, foster children and English learners is spent. Watch our pages for stories and consider signing up for news from an advocacy organization like Children Now.

      Don’t get discouraged or give up. California is entering year 2 of a multi-year process to get it right. More parents must become active for it to work.

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        John, there are three basic questions that I have and that, I think, anyone would have regarding the LCAP. 1. How much money did the district receive? 2. Where did it go? 3. Wherever it went, what is being done with it? The LCAP in SFUSD doesn't answer ANY of these most rudimentary questions. I'm sure if I dig around through the budget I could possibly piece together some partial answers to the first two questions ( and I … Read More

        John, there are three basic questions that I have and that, I think, anyone would have regarding the LCAP.

        1. How much money did the district receive?
        2. Where did it go?
        3. Wherever it went, what is being done with it?

        The LCAP in SFUSD doesn’t answer ANY of these most rudimentary questions.

        I’m sure if I dig around through the budget I could possibly piece together some partial answers to the first two questions ( and I should) . But what community member is going to play the part of investigator in order to get answers and why should they have to? Isn’t that what the LCAP ought to do? Why was tit designed in such a way as to not to provide clear and straightforward information to the public?

        Cui bono?

      • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

        The extra money is not closing the achievement gap or raising scores. They should look at every job and say, is this necessary, and is it raising scores or closing the gap? If the answer is no, they need to create new positions. There is a lot of bureaucratic deadwood in the Central Office. There are hundreds upon hundreds of employees whom it is very difficult to understand their contribution.

  2. Concerned Parent 1 year ago1 year ago

    December 2014 I participated in two 6PM parent invited LCAP meetings that were set up by our school district with the help of West Ed workers paid for by the district. I earnestly, as a parent, and teachers, earnestly, as teachers, got involved in writing down our ideas of change, and where monies should go, etc. We dug in. As the LCAP PROCESS, came down to a vote of approval by our school board, teachers and parents … Read More

    December 2014

    I participated in two 6PM parent invited LCAP meetings that were set up by our school district with the help of West Ed workers paid for by the district.

    I earnestly, as a parent, and teachers, earnestly, as teachers, got involved in writing down our ideas of change, and where monies should go, etc. We dug in.

    As the LCAP PROCESS, came down to a vote of approval by our school board, teachers and parents complained that our ideas were discarded, in my opinion, some speaking out a school board meetings, only to have the school board meeting notes say nothing to reflect discontent of the process.

    For example, a teacher stated at the school board meeting that over time there was a feeling of discontent due to no ideas being truly embraced that were carefully put forward, only to have the school board notes state something to the effect…_______teacher discussed L.C.A.P.

    I believe the LCAP experience made many caring community people wonder if it is a true situation of sharing of power of the decision making of how the purse string monies of the district will be spent.

    In my opinion, to be helpful, the LCAP 8 mandated priorities, need to be mandated as 1-8, because some districts just decided without any parent involvement, to just dilute the 8 mandated priorities in a strange old district policy statements.

    This took the value out of the 8 mandated policies, and of course, the County Office of Education when complained to, just rubber stamped all LCAPs,

    What a farce.

    The low income low academic preforming children are the losers because the LCAP monies go to new savory spending schemes, in my opinion, involving wealthy child spending or higher salaries for school district employees.

    The students with disabilities are the second losers. More segregation in old run down portable buildings because the LCAP is not spent on their needs of academics, in my opinion.

    I am not sure if it pays for parents to involve themselves in the LCAP process itself. I also have heard the voice of a teacher who stated the same thing in front of a microphone at a school board meeting, and I applaud that brave teacher.

    The LCAP was and is just politics.

    Welcome, I say, to more charter schools so long as the LCAP farce rolls along.

    Concerned Parent

  3. don 2 years ago2 years ago

    To get back to john’s article there does seem to be a disconnect between the “uniform praise” of the state board and the many comments here on Ed Source as to LCAP deficiences. It could be that all the believers don’t comment here or perhaps the SBE is more interested in touting a success than hearing about the failures.

  4. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    7 years is more accurate

    Replies

    • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

      Thanks for the correction.

  5. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    For those of you with the stomach to read it, here's the link to SFUSD's LCAP document: http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/about-SFUSD/files/budget/lcap-draft_english.pdf As a long time SFUSD watcher I can tell you that the whole document is standard boilerplate SFUSD central office rhetoric. I have literal heard it all before, including their latest iteration of a program to enlist parent participation - each of which have failed before. Reading through the LCAP I can't help but feel that everything wrong with … Read More

    For those of you with the stomach to read it, here’s the link to SFUSD’s LCAP document:

    http://www.sfusd.edu/en/assets/sfusd-staff/about-SFUSD/files/budget/lcap-draft_english.pdf

    As a long time SFUSD watcher I can tell you that the whole document is standard boilerplate SFUSD central office rhetoric. I have literal heard it all before, including their latest iteration of a program to enlist parent participation – each of which have failed before. Reading through the LCAP I can’t help but feel that everything wrong with the way we go about education today is represented. It’s all about talk with little in the way of defined action. Most tellingly, where parent and student interests are focused – their schools, the LCAP makes no mention at all. After 30 pages the reader still has no idea how the lofty rhetoric in the document is translated into action at the schools sites or how the funding will be allocated.

    SFUSD’s outreach effort is informative. With over 53,000 students, only 29 filled out the online survey and of those 4/5th were white. Out of 29 supposed outreach meetings SFUSD claims to have held only 3 where announced to the public and only a handful of people attended with only a reported total of 400, a nice round number that clearly represents a rounded up guess.

    Wouldn’t we accomplish more for our students if we simply handed the funding over directly to the schools based upon count and allowed the teachers, parents and students in conjunction with the administration to decide how best to spend their dollars within the limits of the law?

    I for one can no longer indulgence in the false optimism of some top heavy bureaucratic reform that doesn’t provide a single piece of information as to the benefits going to schools. Is it too much to ask how the district plans to disseminate its funds or is that guarded and privileged information?

    Why should we “trust the process”, especially when we know there’s no accountability built in? This sounds like someone trying to sell a used car – someone who doesn’t know what else to say.

    Replies

    • Susan Ramsey 2 years ago2 years ago

      Teachers in CVUS are asking the same questions. The idea of local accountability is well and good, but school districts but be held accountable for significant and proper outreach to all groups. I feel that parents and students were very under represented and district officials had hidden agendas that were rubber stamped by board members simply because there were no significant guidelines.

    • Doctor J 2 years ago2 years ago

      Don, unfortunately a perfect example of "salutary neglect" voiced by Patricia Rucker. Apologies in advance, but I repeat a post I made two days ago that is so on point to your comments Don. Speed Limit signs without cops to hand out tickets to offenders are meaningless. There is a huge danger of LCAP just becoming an obscure acronym. (July 10) NAACP’s Willie Mims blasted Mt. Diablo’s LCAP before the SBE. Let … Read More

      Don, unfortunately a perfect example of “salutary neglect” voiced by Patricia Rucker. Apologies in advance, but I repeat a post I made two days ago that is so on point to your comments Don.

      Speed Limit signs without cops to hand out tickets to offenders are meaningless. There is a huge danger of LCAP just becoming an obscure acronym. (July 10) NAACP’s Willie Mims blasted Mt. Diablo’s LCAP before the SBE. Let me share a response from MDUSD’s Supt. Nellie Meyer to a community question: #35 “Q: There isn’t enough specificity in the plan. This is a vision, not actions.”
      Nellie’s Response(redacted): “In most cases the actions are broad actions. . . . . The second challenge is that for many things we just don’t know yet everything we need to do. We know we need to improve communication across the district but we need some time to find out everything we can about what is happening everywhere, get input about what is working and isn’t from students, parents, community members, and staff. We need to work with communication experts about how to make it better and create the plan. Then, we need to roll it out, get ongoing feedback and make adjustments. Right now we just don’t know enough to make detailed plans. . . . .”
      When Nellie came to Mt. Diablo she has kept the district leadership team virtually intact. How could she say “We just don’t know enough to make detailed plans” ????? Yet she knew enough to give everyone new titles, big raises, and smile. How does she expect to implement change using the same team of people that have resisted change for over ten years ?? Why didn’t her experienced team already know everything about what is happening everywhere to make detailed plans ? LCAP in Mt. Diablo has already been minimized. It’s a travesty.

    • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

      The accountability I can think of is elections. I understand that is a slow process.

      • Doctor J 2 years ago2 years ago

        Paul, unfortunately school board elections, in my opinion, do not equate to accountability. There is a mixture of election districts vs. at large districts that skew the results. Additionally, the money behind the elections is primarily the teachers union and the school district vendors, especially in districts with large bond programs. How many people review the Form 700 FPPC of the major school district employees ? See where their gifts are coming from.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Laws require enforcement by those that make them. No matter who's on the local board, it is up to the State to provide the oversight of State law. Local elections are not the answer though clearly board members could make the LCAPs better or worse. Regarding my previous comment I wanted to give an example of my concerns. The SFUSD LCAP is replete with vague "actions and services". For example, (and I repeat this is … Read More

          Laws require enforcement by those that make them. No matter who’s on the local board, it is up to the State to provide the oversight of State law. Local elections are not the answer though clearly board members could make the LCAPs better or worse.

          Regarding my previous comment I wanted to give an example of my concerns. The SFUSD LCAP is replete with vague “actions and services”. For example, (and I repeat this is NOT ATYPICAL of the LCAP) here is what it says in a column regarding retaining qualified staff:

          “5.4 – Implement specific strategies to improve recruitment and retention of teachers and leaders at hard-to-staff schools”

          This means nothing at all. What strategies? Don’t they have any? If they do why don’t they tell us what they are instead of making a meaningless statement? And since they don’t tell us is it more likely they don’t have any strategies? Or it could be that retaining staff in hard-to-staff schools is a touchy issue and Vergara figures largely in it. The district probably doesn’t want to make any statements that would be anti-union since most of the answers require solutions that the union doesn’t like. And it should also be remembered that SFUSD administrators are unionized, too, further complicating the picture. But I digress.

          The whole concept of asking parents to participate in a district plan that doesn’t speak to the school site implementation is well, frankly…stupid, unless you really didn’t want such input in the first place. Parents aren’t district policy makers. They want to know how the policy actually rolls out at the site level, not be given the kind of meaningless promises as exemplified above.

          Did we really go though all these hoops and spend countless costly administrative hours and community efforts statewide to create another document that, like the Single Plan for Student Achievement, will be just a dust-catcher that nobody reads let alone bothers to implement once created? Who is going to hold the district to its promise to “retain qualified teachers”? The State board of Ed? The local board? Some watchful and rare parents? The students? Who?

          One thing I’ve learned as a local activist is that school districts hate parents who meddle and accountability is the enemy. They create bureaucratic walls that are virtually impossible to climb over for the average person. Only large cohesive organizations can muster the strength to push a school board towards accountability. Does that sound anything like what parents have at their disposal?

          • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

            I suspect that counties can’t inspect into the LCAP the type of quality you hope for.

        • Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

          I agree that parent/community inaction/apathy/disorganization/disagreement is the primary issue in public education. That very likely doesn't apply to the people participating in EdSource, except for the disagreement part. And in the end perhaps disagreement is the largest salient factor of all. Although it's not always easy to disentangle disagreement about how education works best from self interest. That's why I applaud groups like EdSource and Ed100 that are making valiant efforts … Read More

          I agree that parent/community inaction/apathy/disorganization/disagreement is the primary issue in public education. That very likely doesn’t apply to the people participating in EdSource, except for the disagreement part. And in the end perhaps disagreement is the largest salient factor of all. Although it’s not always easy to disentangle disagreement about how education works best from self interest. That’s why I applaud groups like EdSource and Ed100 that are making valiant efforts to tackle that problem.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Regarding oversight the State should have a functioning mechanism of oversight written into the law. The CDE has in the past rarely penalized districts for noncompliance because that would be tantamount to penalizing children. The whole LCFF paradigm is intended to move away from the compliance format. They set up guidelines and handed it all to the districts to do as they wish and now the courts are the only real … Read More

        Regarding oversight the State should have a functioning mechanism of oversight written into the law. The CDE has in the past rarely penalized districts for noncompliance because that would be tantamount to penalizing children. The whole LCFF paradigm is intended to move away from the compliance format. They set up guidelines and handed it all to the districts to do as they wish and now the courts are the only real mechanism for compliance. Removing board members is not a fix.

        • John Fensterwald 2 years ago2 years ago

          Don: Don't forget the role of the county offices of education, which are charged with reviewing the LCAPs to see if districts complied with law establishing the LCAP and the regulations created by the State Board. That process is happening between now and early October, so it is early yet to judge the effectiveness. The counties will verify that there was at least some parent and community engagement, that goals responding to the eight state … Read More

          Don: Don’t forget the role of the county offices of education, which are charged with reviewing the LCAPs to see if districts complied with law establishing the LCAP and the regulations created by the State Board. That process is happening between now and early October, so it is early yet to judge the effectiveness.

          The counties will verify that there was at least some parent and community engagement, that goals responding to the eight state priorities have been created, along with actions and expenditures to meet them. I am assuming that, since this was the first year and an abbreviated process, counties will focus on blatant omissions. We will also see if there is great variation in the level of monitoring among the 58 county offices.

          It’s not true, however, that there is nothing short of taking districts to court over non-compliance. In future years, county offices will also determine whether districts have made progress toward meeting their goals and, if they haven’t, need some form of assistance or intervention. A new agency, the Collaborative for Educational Progress, which is just forming, will oversee the interventions. It has yet to meet.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            We've spoken before about the Collaborative on other threads, but I don't put high hopes on its ability to oversee the more than 1000 CA districts - even if it did exist to date. It is my understanding the compliance culture of revenue limits is being eliminated with LCFF. It could be put another way: LCFF or local control is by definition the end of state compliance, monitoring and general oversight, with some token structures … Read More

            We’ve spoken before about the Collaborative on other threads, but I don’t put high hopes on its ability to oversee the more than 1000 CA districts – even if it did exist to date. It is my understanding the compliance culture of revenue limits is being eliminated with LCFF. It could be put another way: LCFF or local control is by definition the end of state compliance, monitoring and general oversight, with some token structures envisioned as a replacement. Clearly, I am more skeptical than you are, John.

            When I tried on three occasions to contact the Categorical Complaints Division about SFUSD LCFF noncompliance, whereas before they would always return calls, provide info and process claims on noncompliance, now they seem to have abdicated that role. A couple of inquiries on my part revealed that office is far more limited than ever before. Yet the Collaborative for Educational Progress hasn’t even been formed let alone met. To use a metaphor, we Californians are using a wild west/ frontier approach where every man stands on his own.

            There is a larger issue here. We fund the districts through a state-level financial system (due to Serrano), add mandates, (the S and C grants), but we aren’t monitoring that spending like we did through SACS under revenue limits and categorical programs. This is a system that sets up the perfect conditions for noncompliance. In fact, compliance has become a dirty word. What is it, then, the honor system? The boy scouts? A supposed oversight organization than hasn’t even been constituted more than one year after the passage of LCFF? What message does that send to the districts? Yes, LCFF is new and may take some time to develop, but the legislature just asked that over 1000 districts develop a detailed plan and great time and expense, yet the CDE can’t in a larger time frame form one organization that is charged to oversee these plans?

            In the unique case of San Francisco Unified, I believe it is the only unified school district and county office with the same board. The legislature should have made a provision for it since the board cannot oversee itself.

          • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

            John, this is exactly the role that local BoEs play vis-a-vis the school site plans created/approved by current SSCs. Yet I have yet to see a board reject a plan (nor do I believe most even read them) or offer intervention to a school as a result of what might be lacking in a plan. Why should we expect COEs to act any differently?

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            That the Collaborative didn't oversee the first LCAP is telling. The message it sends is that the CDE sees cutting slack to LEAs as more important than its fiduciary duty in overseeing how 50 billion dollars is spent to assure the constitutional rights of children to an education in California. I entirely agree with you, Navigio. The county offices will not function with fidelity as an LCAP oversight body, especially here in SF where the unified … Read More

            That the Collaborative didn’t oversee the first LCAP is telling. The message it sends is that the CDE sees cutting slack to LEAs as more important than its fiduciary duty in overseeing how 50 billion dollars is spent to assure the constitutional rights of children to an education in California.

            I entirely agree with you, Navigio. The county offices will not function with fidelity as an LCAP oversight body, especially here in SF where the unified and county offices are the same or anywhere.

            Paul, the LCAPs are only done every three years. By failing to oversee this year, if the Collaborative does it in three years we might optimistically expect to have some movement on the following LCAP. That would be ten years from the date of passage of LCFF.

            • John Fensterwald 2 years ago2 years ago

              Don: I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic: Based on testimony and from the few LCAPs that have been written about, you can find evidence for being both. Thus the need to keep an open mind to see how the process unfolds in 1,000 districts.The collaborative, as the term implies, is a different animal -- not an agency in charge of compliance. It will be the agency that takes referrals from the State Supt and county … Read More

              Don: I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic: Based on testimony and from the few LCAPs that have been written about, you can find evidence for being both. Thus the need to keep an open mind to see how the process unfolds in 1,000 districts.The collaborative, as the term implies, is a different animal — not an agency in charge of compliance. It will be the agency that takes referrals from the State Supt and county offices on districts or charter organizations that need assistance or some stronger form of intervention, based on “rubrics” that will be written over the next year leading to State Board of Education approval no later than October 2015 (what will be in the rubrics is not clear to me).

              Keep in mind that we are in transition to new tests — Smarter Balanced for Common Core in English language arts and math — tests yet to be designed for the new science standards and who know what for social studies. So rubrics that incorporate standardized test results will be a few years away from enforcement.

              That doesn’t mean there will nothing to measure and call districts into account. Goals for graduation rates, rates of A-G completion, redesignatinon rates for English learners, expulsions, suspensions or other district measures — should be in the LCAP, along with actions to meet them and money committed for those purposes. The LCAP looks out 3 years, but will be updated annually and extended to the next year, so there will be plenty to do and evaluate annually. The LCAP is not intended to be a 3-year document put into a drawer. The proposed LCAP template, with a big section on the annual updates, makes that clear.

          • don 2 years ago2 years ago

            John, the SPSA wasn't intended to be shelved either, but I know few individuals who ever read one, most district supervisors incuded.. It is heartening that you in your position to observe see signs of success in the LCAP. But let's remember its just a document. What matters is the implementation. A few years ago I filed a uniform complaint about SFUSD's failure to follow accountability requirements in the spsa to divulge how categoricals were … Read More

            John, the SPSA wasn’t intended to be shelved either, but I know few individuals who ever read one, most district supervisors incuded..

            It is heartening that you in your position to observe see signs of success in the LCAP. But let’s remember its just a document. What matters is the implementation.

            A few years ago I filed a uniform complaint about SFUSD’s failure to follow accountability requirements in the spsa to divulge how categoricals were spent at schoolsites. I did this bc schools were using LEP funds to back fill for loses elsewhere. The CDE made SFUSD change the format of the SPSA, but they did nothing about the lost services for LE students. That aside, what venue would I have for raising such a complaint under LCFF?

            I appreciate your interest and hope you will continue to write on this important subject of transparency in government.

            From my cell.

  6. Doctor J 2 years ago2 years ago

    The Board comments prior to the LCAP motion are probably more instructive than the unanimous vote to move the LCAP process forward especially with an upcoming hearing on already proposed changes to the LCAP regs. Member Patricia Rucker's instructive comment not to confuse "salutary neglect" as synonymous with "patience and trusting the process" was spot on. All Board comments seem to focus on including parents and a broad spectrum of students early on … Read More

    The Board comments prior to the LCAP motion are probably more instructive than the unanimous vote to move the LCAP process forward especially with an upcoming hearing on already proposed changes to the LCAP regs. Member Patricia Rucker’s instructive comment not to confuse “salutary neglect” as synonymous with “patience and trusting the process” was spot on. All Board comments seem to focus on including parents and a broad spectrum of students early on in the development of the LCAP rather than just presenting information to them and getting rubber stamps. If County Superintendents don’t enforce rigorous LCAP standards on the districts, I foresee the SBE and the legislature doing so.

  7. Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

    The one group of people that must rely soley on state requirements are non-citizens. They do not have the opportunity to vote in school board elections. I see Pew Research says that 10% or more of school children in CA have undocumented parents. So the number for non-citizen parents could be even higher. Given this is a statewide number of non-citizen parents in some districts could be even higher. Are … Read More

    The one group of people that must rely soley on state requirements are non-citizens. They do not have the opportunity to vote in school board elections. I see Pew Research says that 10% or more of school children in CA have undocumented parents. So the number for non-citizen parents could be even higher. Given this is a statewide number of non-citizen parents in some districts could be even higher. Are there any estimates on how significant an issue this is? Given LCFF dollars are practically meant to help these families the most there is inherent tension with the local control aspects of the law. Is this a big issue in some districts?

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