Public Advocates’ recent report shines an important light on the inadequate Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) practices of several West Contra Costa charter schools. The report, Keeping the Promise of LCFF in Charter Schools, indicates that some local charters failed to meet all of the expectations for transparency, accountability, and parent and community engagement outlined in California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
We find this report troubling. At Education Matters, we value data-driven decisions, transparency, accountability, and active community engagement. We expect all public schools to maintain the highest standards, and to make good on their promise to students, families, and our community.
We call upon these charter schools to share with the community a clear plan and firm commitment to meet the applicable transparency and community engagement standards described in the LCFF.
Since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 (which capped property taxes and restricted cash flow to California’s public schools), nearly everyone who cares about educating our students has longed for ways to significantly increase public education funding. In particular, educators and advocates have sought ways to deliver more resources to schools serving low-income, high-need student populations.
Nearly four decades after Prop 13, Governor Brown and California legislators passed the landmark Local Control Funding Formula bill. The 2013 law allows school districts autonomy to decide how to allocate state resources, with the specific intent to increase funds for high-need student groups, and encourage their progress toward equitable learning outcomes.
The passage of the LCFF was a watershed moment for California kids and our public schools. It won approval in part because it mandated the full engagement of parents and community members in determining how the additional funds are spent, and ensuring they are focused on the students who need them most.
Over the past year, Public Advocates has led the effort to hold both WCCUSD and, now, our local charter sector accountable for meeting the expectations of LCFF.
This past March, Education Matters joined with Public Advocates and other local advocacy and community agencies to demand that WCCUSD meet the LCFF data reporting requirements. Today, we join them in encouraging local charters to improve their practices as well.
We believe all schools must work to meet community expectations around financial transparency, fiscal accountability, and the proactive inclusion of parent voice in the distribution of resources specifically targeted to support high need students.