With Public Advocates’ support, parents and students won key victories in the past month aimed at keeping the promise of the landmark school funding reform, the Local Control Funding Formula. These victories send a message to school districts across the state about the importance of equitable spending for high-need students and meaningful community engagement.

Parents, students and education advocates scored a major victory with a precedent-setting ruling by the California Department of Education that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) must correct a multi-million dollar spending error involving funds focused on high-need students in Los Angeles. This is the first ruling of its kind on school districts’ spending obligations under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the state’s 2013 finance reform law.

Last week, the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) agreed to amend its spending plan for funds it received from the state to increase or improve services for low-income students, English language learners and foster youth in response to complaints by parents that officials had skirted the law when they first drafted their plan. The message from the California Department of Education (CDE) and the local action by WCCUSD to revise their plan with community input sends a clear signal to school districts throughout California: local plans must fully account for the spending of these funds and if the funds are to be allocated mid-year, the law still applies. Public Advocates and Mayer Brown filed the complaint on behalf of parent Isabel Cruz and two other parents.

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