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CSBA Offers Recommendations to State for Improving California’s Local Control and Accountability Plans

Report calls for changes to LCAP that promote greater clarity, ease-of-use and transparency


SACRAMENTO, Calif., (June 15, 2016) A new CSBA report urges the State Board of Education to revise the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) process and template in order to increase ease-of-use, maximize collaboration and engagement and support school districts in their work to plan for and promote student success.

The CSBA recommendations contained in "Strengthening the LCAP" are based on input systematically gathered from more than 260 local governing board members around the state. Overall, CSBA synthesized more than 400 individual suggestions into 16 specific recommendations organized around two focus areas: improving the LCAP template and process, and providing additional state-level support. The report also includes recommendations for local districts to help them strengthen engagement strategies that enhance community understanding and increase their focus on student needs.

CSBA believes the LCAP template and process should:

  • Facilitate alignment by incorporating other required plans into the LCAP and ensuring that data is provided to districts in a timely manner that allows them to incorporate student outcomes in their updated plans
  • Be easy to understand and use by virtue of clear language, better organization, improved data display capabilities, increased customization and enhanced reporting functions
  • CSBA submitted its recommendations to the California Board of Education on June 14 in order to inform the work of the State Board as it considers changes to the LCAP at its July meeting.

“Incorporating these recommendations into the LCAP process will help increase transparency, trust and engagement, and enhance the ability of local school districts and communities to plan and achieve their goals on behalf of their students,” said CSBA President Chris Ungar.

CSBA’s recommendations were further informed by an intensive analysis of the LCAP based on information culled from CSBA’s LCFF Collaborative Working Group, a collaborative of superintendents and board members representing 18 local school districts and county offices of education. The Collaborative is coordinated by CSBA and California Forward and receives support from The California Endowment and the Stuart Foundation.

To gather information for the analysis, an independent researcher from UC Davis conducted interviews with Collaborative members as well as district LCAP administrators to learn more about their on-the-ground experience with the LCAP. The resulting report, “Increasing LCAP Transparency and Reaffirming California’s Commitment to Local Control: Experiences of District and County Leaders in Year 3,” explains the adjustments districts and counties have made to their LCAPs since year one and the processes they use for developing and improving their plans.

In their interviews, district and county leaders reported almost universal support for the concepts embodied by the LCFF and LCAP, but also affirmed that many challenges remained.

CSBA is a nonprofit association representing nearly 1,000 PreK-12 school districts and county offices of education throughout California.