After receiving input from local stakeholder groups, IUSD staff members presented the Board of Education with a draft of the district’s new Local Control and Accountability Plan this week and outlined potential budget priorities for the board’s consideration.
Under California’s new funding formula, school districts and county offices of education are now required to develop, adopt and annually update three-year accountability plans with input from parents and other community stakeholders.
The first LCAPs are due July 1 and will be based on a template adopted by the state Board of Education. Moving forward, districts must identify yearly goals, take action and measure progress for student subgroups across multiple performance indicators, including academic achievement, school climate, access to a broad curriculum and parent engagement.
In March, district leaders sought input for IUSD’s LCAP from staff, parents and community members during meetings and through an online feedback form. At a budget study session on Tuesday, Assistant Superintendent Eamonn O’Donovan told board members that the top stakeholder suggestions centered on decreasing class sizes, increasing access to technology and enhancing the district’s technology infrastructure.
Just a few years ago it would have been nearly impossible to consider new spending on these or any other initiatives, as the state’s budget crisis resulted in a precipitous drop in funding for public schools. But California’s economy has rebounded, and the governor’s new Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, represents a renewed investment in K-12 schools, channeling greater resources toward students with the greatest needs.
John Fogarty, IUSD’s assistant superintendent of Business Services, told board members that the LCFF will generate a projected increase of $20 million in ongoing funding for IUSD, which also has about $19 million in available one-time funding for 2014-15. Another ongoing increase is expected for the 2015-16 school year.
With rising revenue comes a chance for strategic investments in education, Fogarty said, and the LCAP is designed to provide a set of goals on which future spending decisions can be based.
IUSD’s accountability plan is by no means a finished document, and we’ll provide a link for stakeholders to offer additional feedback at the end of this post. But the goals identified so far include ensuring all students attain proficiency in the current content standards; ensuring access to rigorous and relevant learning tools, resources and skills for all staff and students; cultivating a positive school culture and system of supports for students’ personal and academic growth; and communicating effectively and forming strategic alliances to secure the support and resources necessary to deliver the district’s vision.
Irvine’s plan will continue to be shared with stakeholder groups in May, and a public hearing on the LCAP will be held at the Board of Education’s June 3 meeting. The LCAP is expected to be adopted by the board on June 24, coinciding with IUSD’s budget adoption.
And to scroll through Tuesday’s slide presentation, click here or on the graphic above.