The 2013-14 Budget Act introduced the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), dramatically reforming California’s educational funding system. The goal of the LCFF is to significantly simplify how state funding is provided to school districts. Under the new funding system, revenue limits and most state categorical programs are eliminated. Instead, the LCFF provides districts with base grants depending on their enrollment counts in specific grade-spans. Supplemental and concentration grants are also awarded for the numbers of English Learners, foster youth, and students eligible for free and reduced-price meals enrolled in the district. Supplemental and concentration funds are to be used to increase and improve services and outcomes for these targeted student populations.
Additionally, the LCFF institutes a change in a school district’s accountability for funding, as it requires that the district create, with input from all of the educational stakeholders, a three-year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The LCAP is a plan of action to raise the academic performance of all students through transparency and equity. The LCAP must be developed to include goals aligned with state and local priorities, specific actions aligned to meet those specific goals, and a budget aligned to fund those specific actions. The LCAP must also include annual updates that focus on services and outcomes for all students, with emphasis on those targeting the specific populations of English Learners, foster youth, and low income students.