The way California’s public education system is funded has changed dramatically as the result of a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July 2013. Its centerpiece is the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), designed to send additional money to districts where Gov. Brown believes “the need and the challenge is greatest.” For the first time, the law requires that parents, students, teachers and other community members be involved in the process of deciding how new funds are spent.
Learn more by reading Q&A
The LCAP and the California School Dashboard
The LCFF provides schools with greater flexibility and greater authority over resources and it requires each district to adopt a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). Tied directly to the LCFF and the LCAP is the new accountability system that replaces the often-criticized Academic Performance Index (API), which relied almost solely on standardized test scores to measure school and student progress. Formerly known as the LCFF Evaluation Rubrics, the new accountability system is called the California School Dashboard.
Read CTA Educator article on new accountability system
CTA's position on LCFF
Read CTA's Policy Brief on Local Control Funding Formula
CTA believes the state and federal government should provide adequate funding for education in order for school districts to fulfill the goals of providing a quality education and necessary resources to meet the individual needs of all students.
We agree with the Governor that we must make education in our state more equitable: “Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.”
CTA also agrees that students with the greatest needs (English language learners, foster youth and low-income students) require additional resources to achieve the state’s academic standards.
That is why when it was first implemented during the 2013-14 school year, the CTA State Council of Education adopted its Budget Principles that define support for the Governor’s proposed Local Control Funding Formula as one that provides equal funding for students most in need, restoration of the deficit factor, an annual cost-of-living adjustment while the formula is being implemented over a period of several years, and full funding for K-3 Class Size Reduction Program.
CTA supports the $2.8 billion in on-going funds for the LCFF as stated in the most recently-adopted CTA Budget Principles for 2017-18.
Additionally, CTA believes funding must be based on enrollment and that quantifiable data is consistently applied and publicly available.
Funding for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is of paramount importance to CTA, therefore, we commend the Governor for allocating $1 billion to do so.
CTA believes the LCFF addresses education funding on the basis of fairness and equity among all of California’s students. At a time when more than 50 percent of the state’s population is comprised of ELL students and others who require additional resources to educate, it’s our responsibility to stand behind a proposal that seeks to provide a fair and equal opportunity for all students to succeed.
After years of drastic cuts, it is necessary for the future of our children and the future of California that money owed to students and public education be restored. Funding for California schools and colleges had been cut by more than $20 billion in the four years prior to Proposition 30. Our students deserve a chance to focus on learning instead of facing threats of larger class sizes, fewer classes to choose from, higher tuition and fewer teachers in the classroom.
At the same time, CTA supports the re-distribution of these dollars so that equity and fairness can finally be established after all the years of major inequities with the current funding system. We applaud the Governor for taking on such a bold and historic proposal when he did.
Funding for the implementation of the CCSS is extremely important in order to give educators the proper training and professional development to make the transition as seamless and efficient for all, as well to provide students with textbooks and resources reflective of the new standards. While it will take a lot more than $1 billion the Governor proposed, it certainly helps us move in the right direction.
CTA supports the Class Size Reduction program for grades K-3 within the LCFF, but maintains it should return to the 20 to 1 ratio as it was prior to 2007-08. Studies consistently demonstrate greater student achievement among students in smaller classes where educators can reach each student and provide individualized attention based on needs and strengths.
The LCFF allocates resources to school districts, county offices and charter schools based on student needs by providing supplemental and concentration grants. The LCFF also provides schools with greater flexibility and greater authority over these resources and it requires each district to adopt a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). CTA believes the accountability plan must assure that supplemental dollars are sent to local school districts and spent on disadvantaged students.
California is 46th in the nation in per-pupil spending - up slightly from the rank of 49th in recent years - and it has consistently hovered in that range during the last 20 years. While the LCFF does not provide sufficient funding to get California to at least the national average, it’s a proposal that will significantly increase overall state spending for all schools while providing additional resources to disadvantaged students.
CTA welcomes the upturn in the economy as we move into better financial times as a state and funding is fully restored to our schools.