Letters on School Funding 

EdVoice fights to make funding formulas and allocations transparent at the state, district and school level, so everyone can see and understand where and how education dollars are spent. Beyond transparency, EdVoice works to reform the education finance system to ensure more dollars make it to the classroom and school site and that all investments are tactically planned to have the greatest possible impact on improving the achievement of all kids.

 Carryover Funding   Transparency and   Accountability   Through the LCAP 

October 10, 2021 - California Department of Education

The proposed LCAP template fails to ensure LEAs will describe and justify their uses of carryover as serving high need students in accordance with existing regulations and AB 130.
We repeat our prior recommendation that: AB 130 requires new or expanded prompts and accompanying Instructions in the Actions section, and separately in the Increased or Improved Services section, that: (1) identify what actions and budgeted expenditures the carryover is supporting, (2) justify how each of those actions is principally directed and also effective in serving unduplicated pupils where they are LEA-wide or schoolwide, and (3) are shown to be, in total, increasing services at the level the carryover amount requires and in addition to the ensuing year’s minimum proportionality obligation. 

 Carryover Funding   Transparency and   Accountability   Through the LCAP 

September 3, 2021 - State Board of Education

The current template is not clear that LEAs must report on specific actions funded with carryover resources for the ensuing year. Our coalition urges the Board to provide explicit direction to LEAs that aligns with AB 130 to ensure unused LCFF carryover funds are additive and expended to benefit targeted students. We also recommend the Board ensure districts report, by school, the staff positions supported by the $1.1 billion in targeted funding to ensure staffing levels at schools with a higher concentration of unduplicated students have improved. Our coalition also recommends guidance on specific actions resulting in qualitative improvements, and detailed instructions on how to calculate the benefit to targeted students.

 Federal Funding   Guidance and   Requirements 

April 13, 2021 - US Department of Education - American Rescue Plan (ARP)

We, the undersigned non-profit education policy and research organizations, write to encourage the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to take immediate steps to help state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) make thoughtful use of data, evidence, and evaluation in implementing the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Through guidance, reporting requirements, and technical assistance, USED can help shift our education systems away from a sole focus on compliance with ARP’s requirements and toward a more learning- and improvement-oriented use of these substantial new federal resources, both in this initial recovery period and for the long-term.

 Inter-year Cash   Deferrals 

January 10, 2021 - Assembly Budget Subcommittee 2 on Education Finance

The 2020-21 budget took over $12.5 billion from public schools to balance a projected state general fund revenue shortfall. Our coalition strongly urges California leaders to put the money back where it belongs and stop the exacerbated financial pressure on teachers, school leaders and the millions of California students who each have a fundamental right to an equal opportunity to get a basic education guaranteed by the California Constitution.

 Funding for Low-   Income Students 

December 23, 2020 - Department of Finance 

Our coalitions urge the Governor to hold LEAs’ unduplicated counts harmless and allow LEAs to use their unduplicated count data from 2019-20 for the current-year LCFF calculation. We recommend that this change be made through urgency legislation. Now is not the time to take Supplemental and Concentration grant money away from LEAs. Students eligible for S&C grant funding are the ones most at risk of seeing learning losses increase traditional gaps in opportunity and outcomes. If anything, we should be investing more in this group of students and not less.

 Disaggregate Funding   by Source and Increase   Transparency on LEA   Actions 

December 18, 2020 - California Department of Education and State Board of Education

As advocates committed to strengthening and making California’s K-12 school funding and accountability
system more equitable, we feel strongly that additional revisions to the Annual Update are needed for it to truly be a meaningful tool for stakeholders. In light of the billions of additional dollars in COVID-19 relief funds that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) received for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, we urge you to require reporting in the Annual Update of actual and estimated actual LEA expenditures for all actions and services included in the LCAP (and those unplanned actions implemented in response to school closures) and LCP, disaggregated by funding source, including a principally directed and effective analysis for all actions and services funded by LCFF supplemental and concentration grant dollars.

 Funding Transparency   and Accountability   Through the LCAP 

November 6, 2020 - California Department of Education and State Board of Education

SB 820 requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with the Executive Director of the State Board of Education (SBE), to revise the Annual Update template for the 2021–22 Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) before January 31, 2021 to include both the 2020-21 Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (LCP) and the 2019–20 LCAP. We have appreciated the opportunity to discuss the proposed revisions to the template and instructions with California Department of Education (CDE) during stakeholder input sessions and want to recognize the efforts CDE is making to solicit feedback from members of the equity advocacy community and LCAP stakeholders. We encourage you to adopt the changes required by SB 98 in early 2021, in conjunction with the revisions to the Annual Update, so that local education agencies (LEAs) know what is expected of them and can incorporate the requirements as they begin preparing their LCAPs for the new 3-year cycle (2021-2024) and community stakeholders may participate in a more informed way in the development of their local LCAPs.

 Funding All California   Public School Students 

September 18, 2020 - Press Release/Floor Alert - Fund All Kids 

Our coalition is united in opposition to the recent state budget actions eliminating funding in the 2020-21 budget for new students in growing public schools. The highest enrollment growth in public schools is in high poverty communities of color and areas of the state where families can find affordable housing. Every individual student has a fundamental constitutional right to an equal opportunity for a quality public school education. However, the newly adopted 2020-21 state budget prohibits growing schools from receiving any new state education funding for tens of thousands of children becoming school aged, and families dislocated because of COVID-19 and trying to find a safe school setting, a job and affordable housing.

 Transparency on LCFF   Dollars Reaching   Targeted Student   Groups 

September 9, 2020 - Governor Newsom - AB 1835 - Support 

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to you to urge you to support AB 1835 in order to ensure that funding provided under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for our highest-need, most vulnerable students is actually directed to support them. The state has an essential role to play: making it clear that supplemental and concentration dollars are always to be used to support targeted students will help safeguard resources to meet their unique needs, assist efforts to address the learning loss that has occurred and ensure the promise of LCFF in times of increases and reductions. For these reasons, we encourage you to sign AB 1835.

 Transparency on LCFF   Dollars Reaching   Targeted Student   Groups 

September 4, 2020 - Governor Newsom - AB 1835 - Support

EdVoice respectfully requests your signature on AB 1835 to provide better transparency and close the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) loophole, to ensure supplemental and concentrations grants are indeed allocated to increase or improve services for disadvantaged students and English learners as intended. Districts are using the loophole, lack of transparency and passive bureaucratic oversight to redirect funds intended for disadvantaged students and English learners.

 Governor's 2020-21   Budget Revision and   Inter-year Cash   Deferrals 

May 14, 2020 - Press Release - EdVoice Statement on Governor Newsom’s 2020-21 May Revision

We understand no state or local budget will escape serious downward adjustment and belt tightening in the near-term. The Governor’s plan recognizes state constitutional provisions on K-14 education accounts must not be ignored when deferring allocations of the proceeds of revenues from one fiscal year to the next. We appreciate the acknowledgement of the need to address the cumulative effect of deferrals on the Proposition 98 guarantee going forward, and the critical need for deferral exemptions.

 COVID-19 Impacts   on LCFF and LCAP   Transparency 

March 23, 2020 - California Department of Education

We understand that LEAs are inundated with unanticipated responsibilities and are doing their best to support their communities in these uncertain times. Nonetheless, schools will continue receiving LCFF funding, and it is more important than ever that they use those dollars to support their high-need students, many of whom are impacted most by the COVID-19 outbreak and educational disruption.

 Transparency on   District-Wide Services 

January 3, 2020 - State Board of Education 

We write to you today to encourage you to further amend the language in the LCAP template instructions to more specifically reflect a key recommendation from the California State Auditor regarding how an action is “principally directed” towards and effective in meeting the LEA’s goals for unduplicated students when expenditures occur on a “districtwide” basis. When districts fail to clearly explain in their LCAPs how they plan to use supplemental and concentration funds on “districtwide” services to benefit intended student groups, they limit transparency and accountability. 

 Audit on LCFF Flaws 

November 5, 2019 - Press Release - Audit Finds Local Control Formula Flaws

Sacramento lawmakers now have proof school districts and local bureaucrats cannot demonstrate billions of extra dollars they received from the State for high-need students were ever spent as intended to close achievement gaps. The State Audit report reveals what parents have suspected for several years: the promises of the Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) supplement and concentration grant allocations are not resulting in extra help or additional resources on effective programming where it’s needed the most.

 Funding Transparency   and Accountability   Through the LCAP 

September 6, 2019 - State Board of Education 

Our coalition writes to comment on Agenda Item 2, the proposed revisions to the template for Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). As the core of the state’s accountability system under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), LCAPs play a critical role in helping to ensure that California’s most vulnerable students are being well-served. As such, the LCAP template that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) utilize is vitally important and could be seriously improved. First, the LCAP template should prompt LEAs to show that each of the services being funded and administered is principally directed and effective in meeting the needs of unduplicated students.

 Funding for Lowest   Performing Subgroup   of Students 

March 19, 2019 - Assembly Education Committee - AB 575 - Support

EdVoice writes in support of AB 575, which would add the lowest performing subgroup of students to the “unduplicated pupil” count in the supplemental grant calculation in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Currently, LCFF supplemental grants are determined by the number of “unduplicated pupils,” identified as English learners, low-income or foster youth. By expanding the definition of unduplicated pupils, AB 575 would provide additional resources so local schools can provide extra support to an obviously struggling subgroup of students.

 Funding Transparency   and Accountability   Through the LCAP 

August 13, 2018 - Senate and Assembly Budget Committees 

We recognize that the proposal for changing the LCAP attempts to strike a balance. We believe the proposal will result in a modest increase in fiscal transparency for many stakeholders as the budget trailer bill intended including parents and others who lack familiarity with the LCAP process that has been underway for the last 5 years. We believe that the proposal still falls short in answering the question that many stakeholders and state policymakers would like to have transparent: how much is the state providing to increase and improve services for unduplicated students and how much is being used for those purposes at the local level at each school site where those students are enrolled?

 2018-19 State Budget  Proposal K-12  Accountability Issues 

January 10, 2018 - Press Release - State Budget Proposal Fails to Ensure Funding Is Spent to Close Achievement Gaps 

“Getting through the acronyms and jargon of education finance can indeed be a challenge,” said Bill
Lucia, President of EdVoice. “This proposal provides more money but nothing new on transparency
and nothing new on accountability to ensure all kids have a great teacher and a great school. Nothing
in the proposal demonstrates the state itself is serious on working to close academic achievement gaps.
It’s not just about the money. It’s whether the money is putting the needs of children first instead of
the bureaucrats and adults employed by the school system.

 ESSA Per-Pupil   Expenditure Reporting   Requirement 

November 3, 2017 - State Board of Education

EdVoice urges the Board to direct staff to work with experts and staff to develop state guidance on establishing consistent and meaningful fiscal transparency, not to wait for non-binding guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. Federal law has added a new fiscal reporting requirement that the state report for every school in the state the per-pupil expenditures for personnel and non-personnel costs disaggregated by funding source.