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LCFF fiscal transparency proposed in 2018–19 budget 

Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal calls for greater fiscal transparency when school districts report their use of supplementary funds provided in the Local Control Funding Formula. School districts receive additional funds based on the number of students in three groups identified under LCFF: low-income students, English learners and foster and homeless youth. Currently, districts receiving these funds must outline their goals in their Local Control and Accountability Plan for these designated groups, and include how they will spend the money to achieve those goals.

The budget summary document provided by the California Department of Education cites concerns that have been raised regarding the linkage between these supplemental funds and direct services being provided to the student groups to whom the funds are targeted. The budget proposes a new mandate to show how district budgets align with the strategies detailed in their LCAPs. While district LCAPs are lengthy documents that are often technical and hundreds of pages long, the proposed reporting mechanism would be a much simpler template that will be developed by the CDE by Jan. 30, 2019. If this portion of the budget passes, local educational agencies will be required to provide this summary document as of July 1, 2019.

“CSBA supports greater transparency for all local educational agencies and balances the need for greater transparency with effective use of district time and resources,” said CSBA Legislative Advocate Teri Burns. “However, this does need to apply to all LEAs, including charter schools and county offices of education. We will continue our collaboration with the State Board of Education as they implement final budget language.”

The budget undergoes a May Revision in view of revised revenue outlook and stakeholder feedback; the final budget will be approved in June.