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In September, the State Board of Education approved a plan for using federal assistance that upholds California’s commitment to Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reforms.

The plan, which has now been submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, outlines how the state plans to use and manage federal funding that supports low-income students and English learners through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The plan allows the state to retain maximum flexibility as it continues to shift away from top-down decision-making and toward local control.

“This plan gives flexibility to local leaders and communities so they can make decisions that address local needs and are not restricted by a one-size-fits-all approach,” says state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

California receives $2.6 billion in ESSA funds annually — about 2.5 percent of the state’s overall education budget and a quarter of the money provided to improve services for low-income students, English learners and foster youth through the LCFF.

The plan adheres to the state’s commitment to develop a single state and federal school accountability and support system. The new model uses multiple data points — graduation rates, suspension rates, test scores and more — to give a more complete picture of school success.