Coalition of Education Supporters Launches New Online Resource to Support Public Transparency Around School District Plans Across California

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OAKLAND, CA (July 8, 2014) – With each of California’s 1,000 school districts required to adopt their first Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, as mandated by the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), The Education Trust—West and a coalition of over 30 partner organizations from across the state launch the LCAP Watch website today to create more public transparency around school district plans.

“Under LCFF, parents play an important role in deciding how their district spends state funds to serve all students, especially those who are low income, English learners, and foster youth,” said Valerie Cuevas, Interim Executive Director of The Education Trust—West, a statewide education policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for students of color and low-income students. “Every parent in California must have access to their district LCAP if LCFF is going to live up to its promise and full potential for our students.”

 

LCAP Watch serves as a public repository for LCAPs. While the site already includes hundreds of LCAPs, The Education Trust—West hopes to crowdsource the expansion of the database until all 1,000 districts are represented. Users may view existing plans or add plans, which will then be confirmed and posted by an administrator. The website also features additional resources that offer best practices for addressing a number of the state’s priority areas, including school climate and student engagement, for example.

“We encourage parents, educators, and community stakeholders to view and share LCAPs,” said Carrie Hahnel, Director of Research and Policy Analysis at The Education Trust—West. “We also urge them to engage with their local school districts to monitor and improve the plans over time as a way to ensure their schools meet the needs of all students.”

 

LCAP Watch is supported by a number of partner organizations from across the state that are committed to increasing public transparency of school district plans and budgets. They include: American Civil Liberties Union of California, Alliance for Children’s Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Los Angeles, Bay Area Tutoring Association, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, California Alliance of African American Educators (CAAAE), California Alliance for Arts Education, California State PTA, California STEM Learning Network, California Youth Connection, Californians Together, Children’s Defense Fund California, Children Now, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (C.O.P.E.), Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization (CCISCO), Educators 4 Excellence, EdVoice, Families In Schools, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, For Each and Every Child, Great Oakland Public Schools Leadership Center, Healthy Richmond, League of Women Voters of California, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland Community Organizations, Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO), Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), Parent Organization Network (PON), Partnership for Children and Youth, PICO California, Public Advocates, Public Counsel, Reading and Beyond, Students for Education Reform (SFER), The Advancement Project, The Education Trust—West, and The United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

“As a supporter of LCAP Watch, we are committed to helping every parent across California get access to their district’s LCAP because we know what it means for student success,” said Oscar E. Cruz, President and CEO of Families In Schools, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles whose mission is to involve parents and communities in their children’s education to achieve lifelong success. “We know from our experience that if parents get the information they need, they get engaged and students achieve,” he concluded.

LCAP Watch is available online at: http://lcapwatch.org.

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 About The Education Trust–West
The Education Trust–West works for the high academic achievement of all students at all levels, pre-k through college. We expose opportunity and achievement gaps that separate students of color and low-income students from other youth, and we identify and advocate for the strategies that will forever close those gaps. 

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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.