The Fundamentals of Funding
School funding is going through a complete overhaul with the introduction of the Local Control Funding Formula, more commonly referred to as LCFF. It is anticipated that the full implementation of LCFF will happen in 2021. In the years leading up to 2021 we will see incremental increases in the allocation of funds to schools based on state revenue and the Governor’s budget. This funding formula simplifies state funding to schools in that it consolidates most of the programs designed to serve certain students or programs (commonly referred to as categorical programs) and provides districts with funds based on grade level spans, supplemental funds for certain groups of students, and concentration grants for school districts serving large numbers of students in the four groups addressed by supplemental funds. The groups of students who generate additional revenue in these areas are: English learners, redesignated English proficient students, socioeconomically disadvantaged students, foster youth and homeless youth. The concentration funds are generated if students from these groups make up greater than 55% of the school district enrollment.
An important component of the LCFF is accountability. School districts are required to develop a plan outlining how all of the funds will be spent and showing how the additional supplemental and concentration funds will be used to better serve the students generating those funds. This plan is called the Local Control and Accountability Plan or LCAP. The LCAP must solicit input from stakeholders and be shared with these stakeholders prior to adoption by the Board of Trustees. The school district budget must support the activities outlined in the plan.
Annually, the Hawthorne School District reaches out to our stakeholders through surveys and public meetings to solicit input in developing goals and actions to meet the needs of our students. The draft plan is then shared at various meetings and presented at a public hearing at a regularly scheduled board meeting in late May or early June. Input from the community is welcome at the public hearing which may impact the final document the Board of Trustees will be asked to approve in late June.
The LCFF has been a positive funding change for our school district. Our revenues have been increased due to this new funding formula. Approximately ninety percent of our students generate supplemental funds; therefore an additional thirty-five percent generate concentration funds. These funds will allow us to begin to rebuild after many years of declining funding. We look forward to implementing staff and programs that will continue to provide safe, clean, and positive learning environments for our students.