Community Guide for Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Updates


Equity in Action
Community Guide for
Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Updates

Welcome to “Equity in Action: Community Guide for LCAP Updates.” This guide offers insights and tools for community engagement in California’s educational equity efforts, focusing on the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) updates.

Equity in Action

In 2013, parents, students, grassroots, and state equity advocates were pivotal in securing a huge step forward for racial equity in California’s K-12 education system. State leaders applied the values and priorities of California’s communities of color with the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by sending more funding to school districts for students who have not received the support they need from their schools and districts. By providing additional funding for students learning English, living in poverty, with unstable housing, and impacted by the foster care system, the state’s legislature and governor signaled that districts should be doing more to support students at the margins of opportunity to close the gaps in outcomes – such as supporting academics, reducing suspensions, and improving attendance – between them and their peers. However, a decade later, we still see the racial inequities in academic outcomes that existed before LCFF. Black, Native American, Pacific Islander, Latinx, and English learner students continue to lack the support they need to be successful academically.

While the state’s education leaders need to do much more to transform the education system to center the needs of marginalized students, the legislature and governor recently made changes to Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that can be used to address racial disparities within districts. These plans, which document how districts plan to spend LCFF funding to meet state educational priorities and address the needs of Black, Native American, Pacific Islander, Latinx, and English learner students, include new opportunities for districts to create an intentional focus on better supporting and closing racial equity gaps.

Engage & Influence

Below, we share the LCAP changes your district should address to improve outcomes for students of color and English learners, along with questions to ask your district about how they are implementing those changes. We hope this supports parents, caregivers, students, teachers, school staff, and community members to engage in their district’s LCAP development process and enables them to partner with district leaders to center the needs of students of color and English learners in their communities.

Important LCAP Updates:

Recently, the legislature and governor added to the law that the LCAP development process must support improvement on the state’s educational priorities, “particularly to address and reduce disparities in opportunities and outcomes between pupil groups.” This signals to local education leaders that there must be an intentional focus on evaluating gaps in outcomes. These outcome gaps are the differences between student groups’ scores in math and English, the differences between rates of suspensions, absences, graduation, and college and career readiness. Districts must use the LCAP to document how they plan to address these gaps. You should engage your district on this explicit focus to ensure your leaders are developing goals and actions that address outcomes gaps in your district.

  *Question to ask your district: How are LCAP goals and actions explicitly targeting the outcomes gaps in our district?  
For the 2023-24 school year, districts must develop specific actions and spending for the least supported schools and student groups. This includes any schools and student groups with the lowest “red” rating in any rated category on the California School Dashboard. (These categories are math, English language arts, English learner progress, suspension rates, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism, and college/career.) Students of color and emergent bilingual students or English learners fall into this category in many of California’s districts, so this presents an excellent opportunity for districts to address their needs specifically. As you engage with your district on the LCAP, you should feel empowered to uplift that they must address the needs of schools and student groups of color who are the furthest from necessary supports.

 *Questions to ask your district: What student groups in our district are in the red? What actions are you planning to take to address their needs specifically? Have these actions been proven to be successful for these student groups? For schools in the red, how have you engaged community members at those school sites to address the schools’ need? 
For the first time, districts will be required to analyze their LCAP goals to determine if the actions intended to meet them are effective. Districts will also be required to identify the data points they will use to monitor progress. Every three years, districts must identify ineffective actions using these data points, reasons for the lack of success, and changes to actions or new actions that will be effective. These new requirements to better monitor and evaluate the district’s progress on LCAP goals, particularly for students of color and English learners, provide an opportunity to engage with your district on whether the educational programming they provide is successful and targeted to the unique needs of marginalized students. This also offers the opportunity to urge district leaders to change course and partner with parents/caregivers, students, and community members to develop effective solutions for marginalized students.

 *Questions to ask your district: How will you share progress toward LCAP goals with the district community annually? How will community members – especially those from communities and families of color and English learners — be involved in this process? 

Beginning 2023-24, the state will be sending additional funding directly to schools in acute need of support based on measures like whether a student’s parents finished high school, family income, and how many students have maintained enrollment in the same school  over the school year. Districts must create focus goals in the LCAP for each school in their district that receives this funding and must engage members of these school communities in the LCAP planning process. Additionally, districts must include any student group at Equity Multiplier schools with a red Dashboard rating in the focus goals. The district must also address any issues with teacher qualification, preparation, and/or retention at Equity Multiplier schools in the LCAP if necessary.

 *Questions to ask your district: Which schools in our district are Equity Multiplier schools? What policies, programs, and services are you planning to support students of color and English learners at Equity Multiplier schools? 

Starting in the 2023-24 school year, districts with at least 30 emergent bilingual students or English learners (ELs) and at least 15 long-term English learners (LTELs) are required to include in their LCAPs programming focused on students acquiring English. Districts must also include LTELs in their plans for increasing or improving services for the student groups that bring in additional equity-based funding (supplemental and concentration grants). These new requirements allow community members to hold districts accountable for having concrete plans for EL success, as well as specific plans and programming to address the needs of LTELs.

 *Questions to ask your district: What is your districtwide plan for supporting emergent bilingual students to acquire English? What actions are you including in the LCAP to meet the specific needs of LTELs? 

How to get involved and influence your district’s LCAP:

your district’s LCAP parent or English learner committee.

your district’s draft LCAP on their website. Call your district to request a copy if you can't find it.

your district’s LCAP public hearing board meeting.

in LCAP community engagement meetings.

which schools and student groups in your district should have dedicated actions in the LCAP with our School and Student Identifier Tool (Coming Soon!).

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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.