By Tom Chorneau | SI&A Cabinet Report – News & Resources http://bit.ly/18AYxkM
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 :: This week school administrators anxious over the lack of regulations governing use of more than $2 billion in new state formula funding should get some new insight over how much interim guidance the state board intends to provide.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders adopted a sweeping restructuring of the state’s K-12 education funding formula giving local school boards far more control over spending decisions. But the Local Control Funding Formula also mandates new accountability measures that include requirements for districts to get input from parents and the community before money is spent, and for school managers to use new indicators for tracking student performance.
Although the budget act called out the legislative priorities and goals, the difficult work of putting the intent into functional regulations has been left to the California State Board of Education. The first batch of the LCFF money has already been distributed to schools, but the state board is still months away from promulgating the new regulations.
In a report to the board from the California Department of Education, staff noted that members will be asked this week to give direction on a variety of issues aimed at getting spending regulations completed by Jan. 31, 2014.
There is some expectation that the board’s collective response at this month’s meeting as well as those through the end of the year,will help define the regulatory landscape as schools begin spending the money.
Toward that end, the CDE has asked four ‘guiding’ questions for the state board to consider:
- How does the LCFF support transparency and simplicity?
- How will LEAs demonstrate increased and improved services for unduplicated students?
- What elements/information should be included in Local Control Accountability Plan templates to support use of funds consistent with LCFF?
- What elements/information should be included in the LCAP and budget templates to support alignment to the state priorities?
The board is also expected to receive a report on a series of public meetings that the CDE hosted in several parts of the state last month.
District personnel and school representatives repeatedly called for the state board to be sensitive to adding restrictions on the use of the LCFF money, noting the spirit of the plan originally proposed by Brown is that local boards should be making the lion’s share of the spending decisions.
An almost opposite view was expressed during hearings on the plan by advocates for disadvantaged students. That warning comes even though one of the major changes in how the state supports schools includes new grant money specifically targeting low-income students, English learners and foster youth. There are concerns that without clear, strong regulations some of the targeted money will get spent elsewhere.
Here is a timeline for the LCFF work facing the state board:
- On or before Jan. 1, 2014, the SBE must review for approval the updated standards and criteria for use by LEAs in the adoption of local budgets. (Education Code [EC] Section 33127).
- Before Jan. 30, 2014, the SBE must review for approval the Public School Accountability Act (PSAA) Advisory Committee recommendations for changes to the Academic Performance Index based on the LCFF. (EC 52052.1)
- By Jan. 31, 2014, the SBE must review for approval spending regulations that clarify how expenditures of funds should be managed to demonstrate compliance. (EC 42238.07)
- On or before March 31, 2014, the SBE must review for approval the local control and accountability plan templates for use by LEAs to support local adoption and annual review of the LCAP. (EC 52064).
- On or before Oct. 1, 2015, the SBE must review for approval evaluation rubrics that provide a “holistic multidimensional assessment” of LEA strengths and weaknesses to be used by entities providing technical assistance and evaluating LEAs that may need intervention. (EC 52064.5)