Realizing the Promise of LCFF: Recommendations from the First Ten Years
In March 2023, Public Advocates and the ACLU Southern California—organizations that helped shape California’s landmark school funding legislation a decade ago—published Realizing the Promise of LCFF: Recommendations from the First Ten Years. Using 72 districts as case studies, this report reviews the Local Control Funding Formula implementation to offer guidance on improving equitable outcomes and community engagement throughout the state.
Signed into law in 2013, LCFF is one of the boldest public education experiments any state has ever taken to improve student outcomes through greater equity, transparency, local accountability, and meaningful community engagement. Over the past decade, it has fundamentally changed how public schools are funded and held accountable. However, as the report uncovers, the promise of LCFF—addressing systemic inequities that create barriers to student success—has not yet been fulfilled.
While the report highlights some bright spots, it underscores the need for significant innovation in order to strengthen accountability measures that can ensure a comprehensive strategic planning process and better engagement. Top level recommendations include:
- More oversight, support and authority for County Offices of Education to hold districts accountable
- Investing in an innovative, usable, web-based strategic planning platform that can make funding transparent and easier to understand
- Strengthening community engagement with families, students, and community based organizations to meaningfully address disparities in student outcomes and improve opportunities for all students, including Black students