K-12 Why it Matters
- There are over 6 million students in California, and LAUSD has over 600,000 students — more than many states.
- The past few years have been years of great transition regarding education policy in California. For example, since 2010, a number of states across the nation, including California, have adopted national standards for English and Math, describing what students should know and be able to do in each grade from K-12. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and its implementation is causing major shifts in both policy and pedagogy.
- In addition, California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013-14, replacing the previous K-12 finance system. It established base, supplemental, and concentration grants that simplify the finance system and enables greater local decision-making. LCFF represents a dramatic shift away from centralized Sacramento-based policy change, enabling greater local decision making as well as emphasizing greater community participation in education.
- LCFF accountability is detailed largely in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). Under the LCFF, all local educational agencies (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. All of this is part of the broader accountability system which was overhauled to provide greater consistency with the common core, LCFF, and the new state priorities. The accountability system includes in part the LCAP, school accountability report card (SARC), adequate yearly progress (AYP), Williams requirements , state assessments, and the California Collaborative on Educational Excellence (CCEE).
- In California’s current phase of implementation, it is ever more important to ensure the equitable distribution and use of resources for our most vulnerable students. LCFF represents an attempt to more equitably distribute funds. However, California continues to consistently fall short of its obligation to provide an equitable education.
- And finally, differences in school practices such as harsh school discipline, prison-like environments, and underfunded school services have all acted to limit opportunity and oppress vulnerable populations.
 Williams Requirements established new standards and accountability mechanisms to ensure that all California public school students have textbooks and instructional materials and that their schools are clean, safe, and functional. The CCEE (Education Code Section 52074) will provide advice and assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs such as charter schools, school districts, and county offices of education) in achieving the goals set forth in the Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs).