Monthly Archives: February 2014

LAUSD: First Interim Financial Report, Fiscal Year 2013-2014

This is what LAUSD LCAP advisory committee members will be asked to contribute their budget priorities to. Intimidating, isn’t it? Keep in mind, the school budget process is supposed to be iterated publicly. That means budgets are to be posted on district websites for all to see.

The various versions of the LAUSD budget will probably be produced in more simplified form so that lay members of the public can actually digest it. Nevertheless, there are probably some LAUSD parents and community members who have the expertise to look at the raw budget that school finance professionals use as working documents. If so, comments from those folks would be much appreciated!

Second interim budgets are due some time after March 10, 2014.

School districts are now in the process of gathering information from parents, teachers, and community members to help shape program priorities for the coming 2014-2015 year.

Is your district involving you? How’s it going?

California Legislative Analyst’s Office Report on LCFF: Dec 13, 2013

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has released an updated version of its report on Local Control Funding Formula. The version I’ve put here is current as of December, 2013.

You might want to read the Executive Summary and decide if you want to get into the weeds.

Legislation enacted in 2013–14 made major changes both to the way the state allocates funding to school districts and the way the state supports and intervenes in underperforming districts. The legislation was the culmination of more than a decade of research and policy work on California’s K–12 funding system. This report describes the major components of the legislation, with the first half of the report describing the state’s new funding formula and the second half describing the state’s new system of district support and intervention. Throughout the report, we focus primarily on how the legislation affects school districts, but we also mention some of the main effects on charter schools. (This report does not cover the new funding formula for county offices of education [COEs], which differs in significant ways from the new district formula.) The report answers many of the questions that have been raised in the aftermath of passage regarding the final decisions made by the Legislature and the Governor in crafting new K–12 funding and accountability systems for California.

(If you have a Crocodocs account, you can comment/annotate this document, or comment in the comment section to this post.)

Los Angeles County Office of Education Bulletin #3747: Eight State Priorities and Four Concentration Grant Groups

This is a memo all Superintendents of Schools received from the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), dated January 10, 2014.

Members of the Parent Advisory Committee are asked to seek input from the community with regard to ideas for improving schools in eight major areas of school operation and culture listed on page 2 of 8 on the actual bulletin (skip the memo — scroll down to page 8 out of 13 below). These are called “Eight State Priorities.”

Under Local Control Funding Formula, there are four groupings of students who will receive additional funding under Prop 30.

We should look at all eight areas and give special attention to the four groups who get concentration grants. How can programs better serve the needs of LI (low-income), Special Ed, ELL (English language learner), and foster youth?

How Is California’s Biggest School District Handling Local Control Funding Formula?

Los Angeles Unified presents an especially tough challenge to the town hall format of planned Local Control Accountability Plan activities designed to solicit ideas for shaping the district’s budget. As the second-largest school district in the nation, LAUSD educates about 640,000 children in grades K-12 (and also runs adult education) in a 720-square mile area that overlaps schools in the city of Los Angeles and county of Los Angeles.

To compare: the entire country of Finland’s K-12 school population is about 650,000 children.

So in order to prevail over geographic size and sheer numbers of children, LAUSD must coordinate outreach to five sub-districts within the overall urban district. They are, North ESC, South ESC, East ESC, West ESC, and ISIC ESC.

Here’s what Los Angeles Unified’s Parent Community Services branch is making available to parents as part of their outreach. The short take: there will be a total of 47 members of the LCAP Parent Advisory Committee for all of LAUSD to represent an enormous population of families with children attending LAUSD schools. Seven will be selected by LAUSD School Board members, 6 parents or guardians for each sub-district will be selected from various groups that will receive the concentration grants intended to supplement the resources required to teach children from low-income backgrounds or are foster youth, English language learners. Finally two parents in each of the five sub-districts will be at-large representatives.

The parents or guardians of ELL will be chosen from  District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) for all of LAUSD, which currently has 60 representatives. Each of the five sub-districts has 10 committee members and 2 alternates, and each of the five sub-districts will select 2 people from among the 12 to be the ELL representatives on the Los Angeles Unified LCAP Parent Advisory Committee.

You can see the charts that explain it all here:

For comparison purposes, a small suburban district outside the city of Los Angeles has 19 parents on their LCAP Parent Advisory Committee, with three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school  in the district.

For hands-free or on-the-go information about Local Control Accountaibility Plans, listen to this podcast discussion between Sarah Auerswald of MomsLA and Cynthia Liu, K-12 News that discusses much of this same information.

There’s money on the table for our kids for the first time in a long time. We still need a long term solution to funding our schools. But for now — don’t leave that money on the table! This is our chance to finally shape budgets to reflect our values and priorities.

Questions for all of you:

  •  how many parents are serving on your Parent Advisory Committee?
  • how many schools are there in your district?
  • would it be helpful for you to organize in the 3-1-1 model (3 elementary schools, one junior high, one senior high) as this is often a feeder school model in many districts?
  • how has your district’s communication been with you so far?
  • do you know who to contact on the Parent Advisory Committee if you aren’t on it yourself?
  • do you have sufficient access to your representatives to have your suggestions or concerns addressed?

Please sound off in the comments!

Know your rights, know the law.