Legislators Send Message to State Board of Education: Permanent Regulations on Supplemental and Concentration Dollars Need to Serve High Need Students!

Twenty-seven California State Legislators have signed a letter calling for the State Board of Education to require school districts, charter schools and county offices of education to show how funds are principally used to serve high-need students.

They also urged that Local Control Accountability Plan templates include transparent and standard data for expenditure reporting, strong school site council engagement and alignment between state priorities, LCAP goals and specific expenditures at the district and school levels.

Signers included the chairs of the Latino, Black, and Asian Pacific Islander caucuses and the chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.

The letter can be read here.

Update on Where We Stand with LCFF

Adoption of Regulations

In January 2014, the State Board of Education approved emergency regulations defining spending rules and a template for the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The spending regulations describe how districts must use Local Control Funding Formula dollars to increase or improve services for students who are low-income, learning English, or in foster care.  As part of these rules, the Board created a standard “proportionality calculation” for districts to use to determine the minimum amount of money they must spend on high-need students.
Each district must include this figure in its LCAP, which is a comprehensive document describing a district’s goals, actions, and expenditures across eight state priority areas. In addition to identifying how the district will serve all students, it must also provide detail on how supplemental and concentration funding will be spent on actions and services for high-need students. Districts must also explain how those investments will “increase or improve services” for high-need students.

These regulations reinforce LCFF’s goal of creating a more equitable and transparent education funding system.  Now, the state is collecting public comments on these regulations as it works on the permanent regulations. The public will also have an opportunity to provide comments at a March board meeting at a March 17 public hearing.

District Planning

Most districts are already engaged in LCFF planning for 2014-15. Local Control and Accountability Plans and related budgets must be adopted in a public hearing by July 1, 2014. Before then, districts must:

  • Consult school employees, parents, and students. Some districts are surveying parents, students, and/or staff to hear their ideas on what the district should be doing. Some districts are also holding public forms to hear public input.
  • Present proposed plans to parent advisory committees and English learner parent advisory committees (if they have at least 15% English-learner students) for feedback. They must respond in writing to the feedback of these committees. Most districts are in the process of forming these committees, but we are hearing that this process often lacks transparency.
  • Present their plan at a public hearing and listen to comments. Before then, the public will also have an opportunity to provide written feedback.

What Districts Should be Considering

As they decide how to spend their LCFF funds, many districts are facing competing pressures. Unions representing teachers and classified staff are seeking pay increases. Cautious administrators want to pay down structural deficits. We believe the spending regulations and LCAP template make it clear that such expenditures must be made with base funding.
Supplemental and concentration funding must be used to increase or improve services for low-income students, English learners, and foster youth. We propose the following types of investments:


  • Individualized academic planning and counseling
  • College counseling, mentoring, and support around college preparation, application, financial aid, and placement
  • Tracking progress of high-need students into college and providing transitional supports
  • Adding/expanding summer learning programs
  • Data systems to help identify struggling learners
  • Targeted and appropriate intervention services, both within and outside the classroom, such as Response to Intervention (RTI) programs and paraprofessional support
  • Extending learning time
  • English language development services
  • Individualized support for migrant, homeless, and foster youth to ensure they have the academic records, transportation, course enrollments, and advocacy they need to attend school and maintain progress toward graduation


  • Positive behavior management and youth development programs and strategies
  • Expanding access to counselors, social workers, and mental health services
  • Mentoring or other programs, such as Advisory, to build positive peer and adult relationships
  • Effective programs to improve school climate and safety, such as restorative justice


  • Health, dental, and vision care, including access to school-based health clinics
  • Systems for monitoring and improving student attendance in order to increase attendance, reduce chronic absenteeism, and decrease truancy
  • Parent engagement programs in primary languages of high-need students
  • Preschool and transitional kindergarten targeted at low-income families
  • Education plans for foster youth, developed in collaboration with child welfare workers


  • Professional development on English language development strategies, the unique educational needs of students in foster care, behavior management practices, and instructional strategies aimed at supporting struggling learners
  • Offering principals in high-need schools priority when it comes to hiring teachers
  • Offering incentives and supports to teachers and principals working at or willing to transfer to the highest need schools

A Special Thanks to Parents, Students and Organizations

On Thursday, January 16, 2014, hundreds of students and parents from diverse communities across California descended on Sacramento to make their voices heard at a crucial meeting on the state’s historic school funding law, called Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The new law dramatically reforms they way California funds school districts by basing the funding on student-need. Students and parents were there to tell the State Board of Education to pass regulations that ensure funds designated for English language learners, foster youth and low income students are specifically used to help them and not go elsewhere.

Special thanks to all the organizations who made yesterday possible, including: Alliance for a Better Community; ACLU-California; Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network; BSS (Brothers, Sons, Selves); Building Blocks for Kids Collaborative; Californians for Justice (CFJ); Children’s Defense Fund; Coleman Advocates; EdVoice; Families in Schools; Fathers & Families of San Joaquin; MALDEF; Oakland Community Organizations; Parent Organization Network (PON); PICO California; PIQE; Public Advocates Inc.; Public Counsel; Restorative Schools Vision Project; RYSE Center; Students for Education Reform; The Education Trust-West; United Way of California; Youth Together.



Hundreds Descend on Sacramento for Crucial Meeting on Historic Education Reform Regulations

SACRAMENTO — A racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse mix of nearly 400 students and parents from across the state began arriving at 5:30am for today’s State Board of Education (SBE) meeting. Wearing identical t-shirts and green arm bands, they came to testify and witness; rally and march, chant, wave banners and signs.
They’re here again, students and parents in unprecedented numbers, as SBE considers “emergency regulations” that will guide how local districts implement Governor Jerry Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) law that dramatically reforms the way California funds school districts by basing funding on student-need. They’re here to push for assurances that LCFF will deliver on its promise.
In their testimony, they acknowledge that the state board has come a long way since its November meeting in balancing flexibility with equity. They say they appreciate the state board’s inclusiveness in working with a broad range of stakeholders and being open to and responsive to their concerns.
But, they point out, while the LCFF legislation clearly states that additional educational funding is to be used to “increase or improve” services for high-need students, a loophole in the regulations might allow funding to be used district wide for any purpose. They want board members to clarify existing law and close this loophole to make sure funds designated for English language learners, foster youth and low income students are specifically used to help them. Only then, they say, should the board approve the emergency regulations.
This testimony echoes a letter submitted Friday to SBE (with the Governor and other state leaders copied) on behalf of more than two dozen organizations.
Harkening back to Governor Brown’s quote when introducing LCFF that “equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice,” advocates hope their messages of #ClosetheLoophole and #ImproveThenApprove #LCFF fall on receptive ears.
Once the Board ensures the promise of LCFF, advocates say their attention will shift to make sure local districts follow through to begin making this promise a reality. They also plan to closely monitor how the emergency regulations work in practice so they can propose appropriate improvements to the permanent regulations later this summer or fall.


Grassroots rally, march and press availability around the California State Board of Education meeting on LCFF implementation regulations


Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • 7:30am: March
  • 8:45am: Rally
  • 10:30am: SBE testimony


March: Route follows
Rally: State Capitol Park @ 14th and N Street
Meeting: 1430 N Street, Room 1101, Sacramento, CA 95814
Press availability throughout at SBE building and at Westminster Church, 1300 N St.


Parents, students, grassroots leaders, legal & policy advocates from across the state, including Dolores Huerta


A racially and ethnically diverse mix of hundreds of people of all ages wearing identical t-shirts and green arm bands; marching, rallying and chanting; giving public testimony; waving banners, signs.

March Route
March leaves Westminster Church, 1300 N St., heads along north and south sides of N St, ends on both sides of N and 15th streets, then moves onto capitol grounds at 14th and N streets.

Eric Wagner: (323) 683-9295

Oakland Tribune editorial: Education funding regulations need a bit more work

Oakland Tribune editorial

The California Board of Education on Thursday will adopt regulations implementing the state’s new education funding law, and the proposal before them is a significant improvement over early drafts.

The law requires the funds to go directly to the education of the students who generate them, not be spread widely.

One issue remains: The regulations don’t require districts with high concentrations of disadvantaged students — more than 55 percent — to demonstrate how they’ll use the funds they receive for those students to benefit them.

They also don’t require districts to show that the way the funds are used is effective.

A coalition of 30 parent and community groups is recommending one small change to the regulations: They should require districts’ spending plans to show the money is “principally directed toward serving (disadvantaged) pupils and effective in meeting the districts goals for (these) pupils in the state priority areas.”

Read the Full Article

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Items 20 and 21 will be heard Thursday, January 16, 2014, commencing at 8:30 a.m.

Spanish translators and headsets will be available for these items.Members of the public wishing to send written comments are asked to send an electronic copy to SBE@cde.ca.gov with the item numbers clearly marked in the subject line. To ensure that your comments are received by board members in advance of the meeting, please submit these and any related materials to our office by 12:00 Noon on Friday, January 10, 2014.

Sign-up sheets for testimony on all items, including the LCFF items, will be accessible to the public on Wednesday, January 15 at 8:00 a.m., near the entrance to the Board Room in the CDE building lobby.

For the LCFF items, individual speakers will be limited to one minute each. A group of five speakers may sign up together and designate one speaker who will be allocated a total of three minutes for the group.

In the news…

Calif. poised to implement school funding reform
LISA LEFF, Associated Press

The State Board of Education plans to vote Thursday on emergency regulations that spell out how school districts may use the $18 billion in new funds expected to flow to them in coming years based on the number of students who are low-income, learning to speak English or living in foster care.

The proposal represents a compromise between California’s local districts, which wanted maximum flexibility in spending the money, and civil rights advocates who worried the infusion would never reach the children it was supposed to help without sufficient restrictions.

Read the Full Article

Editorial: Don’t squander promise of new school funding

Editorial Board of The Sacramento Bee

In an ideal world, the extra dollars for disadvantaged kids would go directly to schools. Instead, the law distributes the dollars to local districts. That is the battle.

On Thursday, the State Board of Education will make big decisions about the rules districts will need to follow when they allocate dollars under the new system.

A major problem, however, remains. The language is vague as to what to do when districts want to spend the dollars for disadvantaged students on districtwide initiatives that affect all students, such as reducing class sizes, buying tablet computers or restoring after-school programs.

An equally big flaw is that the draft would allow school districts to spend extra dollars generated by disadvantaged kids for any purpose.

A wide array of groups – from EdTrust West to Children Now to EdVoice – has made constructive suggestions for amendments to better ensure that extra dollars help disadvantaged kids first and foremost, while boosting local control over the old inflexible funding system.

Read Full Article

Letter to CA Board of Education from Coalition

From the letter:

We represent a coalition of civil rights, community-based, and other organizations that have worked in collaboration with you on the passage and implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

we share one primary concern: the regulations guiding districtwide uses of supplemental and concentration funds are overly broad.

We believe this creates a significant potential loophole, as it allows a considerable portion of the dollars generated by unduplicated pupils for their specific “beyond-base-grant” needs to be spent on increasing or improving services for non-unduplicated pupils.

Read the letter

California Legislative Black Caucus Testimony – Senator Holly Mitchell

“I want to remind this Board that for many legislators including myself and the other LBC (Legislative Black Caucus) members, our support for LCFF was based on promises that were made that the equity for students with the greatest needs would be honored.”

“The Governor also publicly stated that the regulations and templates being developed for the LCFF need to ensure that the funds generated by unduplicated pupils above base funding are “strategically directed to those children with the greatest need –” (Office of the Governor, Press Releases, April 24 & June 5, 2013).”

Read Talking Points