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LCAP Questions and Answers

 

1. How is the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) different from what was in place under revenue limits?

One of the goals of the LCFF is to simplify how state funding is provided to local educational agencies (LEAs). Under the old funding system, each school district was funded based on a unique revenue limit, multiplied by its average daily attendance (ADA). In addition, districts received restricted funding for over 50 categorical programs which were designed to provide targeted services based on the demographics and needs of the students in each district.

 

Under the LCFF funding system, revenue limits and most state categorical programs have been eliminated. The LCFF creates funding targets based on student characteristics and provides greater flexibility to use these funds to improve student outcomes. For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF funding targets consist of grade span-specific base grants plus supplemental and concentration grants that are calculated based on student demographic factors. For county offices of education (COEs), the LCFF funding targets consist of an amount for COE oversight activities and instructional programs.

 


2. When will the LCFF be implemented?

Implementation of the LCFF began in 2013–14. Initially, the state Department of Finance (DOF) estimated that achieving full funding levels for school districts and charter schools under the LCFF would take eight years based on then-current Proposition 98 growth projections, which would result in full implementation by fiscal year 2020-21. Full implementation for COEs was estimated to take two years. While those initial timelines have not formally changed, we are ahead of the initial implementation schedule.

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3. How are LCFF target levels calculated for school districts and charter schools?

Funding targets under the LCFF consist of:

  • Grade span-specific base grants based on ADA, that reflect adjustments for grades K–3 class sizes and grades 9–12 (school districts with qualifying schools may receive a necessary small school (NSS) allowance in lieu of the base grants);
  • Supplemental grants equal to 20 percent of the adjusted base grants multiplied by the LEA’s unduplicated percentage of English learners, income eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and foster youth pupils;
  • Concentration grants equal to 50 percent of the adjusted base grants multiplied by an LEA’s percentage of unduplicated pupils above 55 percent; and
  • Two add-ons equal to the amounts school districts received in 2012–13 for the Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant and Home-to-School Transportation programs.
  • Base, supplemental, and concentration grants, as well as necessary small school allowances, will receive cost-of-living adjustments as provided through the annual budget.

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4. How are funding levels calculated during the LCFF Phase-in Period for school districts and charter schools?

In general, the calculation of LCFF funding throughout the phase-in period is based on an LEA’s prior year funding (floor) as well as its LCFF target amount.

For school districts and charter schools, the floor consists of 2012–13 deficited school district revenue limit funding including basic aid fair share reductions, or charter school general purpose block grant funding, divided by 2012-13 average daily attendance (ADA), and then multiplied by current year ADA. For school districts with qualifying schools, NSS ADA is funded in accordance with 2012-13 deficited NSS allowances in lieu of revenue limit funding. Added to that floor is the sum of any applicable categorical program funding. For school districts, the categorical funding is a lump sum amount that is based on what the district received from 50-plus categorical programs in 2012-13. For charter schools, the categoricals are based primarily on what was received from the categorical block grant in 2012-13, adjusted for current year ADA, plus a lump sum for any categoricals included in LCFF that were received outside of the 2012-13 categorical block grant.

LCFF transition funding during the phase-in period is based on the difference between each school district and charter school’s floor and its new LCFF target; this difference is called the need. The floor calculation includes any prior year gap funding, converted to a per-ADA value that is then applied to current year ADA. Every school district and charter school that is not already funded based on its target will receive a percentage of its need, based on how much is appropriated in the state budget each fiscal year for this purpose. This additional funding is called gap funding. An LEA's funding amount during the phase-in period is then based on a recalculation of its LCFF target and its floor, with gap funding added to the floor to arrive at the total transition entitlement for that year.

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5. How are funds apportioned under LCFF?

LCFF is funded through a combination of local property taxes and state aid. State aid is distributed through the Principal Apportionment. For information on the Principal Apportionment, including the Principal Apportionment payment schedule, go to the Principal Apportionment Web page.

 


6. What is the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)?

The LCAP is an important component of the LCFF. Under the LCFF all LEAs are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to EC Section 52060(d).

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7. Does the LCAP replace Local Educational Agency Plans (LEAPs) required under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)?

The LCAP does not replace the federal requirements related to LEA Plans in Section 1112 of the ESEA. However, the LCAP template will be developed by the SBE in a manner that meets both the LCAP requirements and the federal requirements, and the SBE will take steps to minimize duplication of effort at the local level to the greatest extent possible (EC Section 52064).

 


8. How does the LCAP affect site plans (i.e., Single Plan for Student Achievement)?

According to EC Section 52062, specific actions included in the LCAP, or the annual update of the LCAP, must be consistent with the strategies included in the school plans submitted pursuant to EC Section 64001.

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