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New CA. funding formula introduced at Dorsey High School

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Dorsey High School in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) held a parent and community briefing on the new State School Funding System Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and its accountability system the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The new funding (worth billions of dollars) approved by CA. voters during the 2012 November election (Prop. 30) is designed to provide additional funding to support the “neediest students” in CA. public schools and districts.

The slide show presentation delivered by LAUSD Parent Community Services Branch, also discussed the new Common Core State Standards, and the CA. Office to Reform Education (CORE) Waiver from the Federal Government. But much of the presentation and questions & answers from the small audience in the school’s auditorium were related to the LCFF and LCAP.

Governor Jerry Brown has been quoted as saying “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.” The new stream of funding is designed to help specific subgroups of children (i.e. poor, foster care, English language learners) do significantly better in school, and be better prepared for college and/or career opportunities.

The new funding has a built in “meaningful stakeholder engagement” plan called the LCAP that addresses eight priority areas: student achievement, student engagement, other student outcomes, parental involvement, school climate, basic services, implementation of Common Core State Standards, and course access. And to ensure that the funding is used as intended the LCFF must include strong assurances that money will be spent on high-need students, public transparency of revenues & expenditures, local community involvement in spending decisions, and robust accountability.

LAUSD plans to utilize existing parent advisory groups such as the English learner advisory committee, District English learner advisory committee, parents at large, and also legal guardians of foster care youth. These parent representatives will come from all five of the local districts in LAUSD, and will total 47 in number.

Several parents and other attendees in the audience asked questions concerning how the district was going to identify the high-needs students, how will the district ensure that the funding not be used to service non identified high-needs students, and how will the district and schools reach out to broaden stakeholder engagement (which this writer also commented on at the meeting) to develop the plan? The answer provided was that the district and schools will have upcoming mandatory hearings where those questions should be answered. Stay tuned!

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