On January 14, 2014, California parents in record numbers attended the State Board of Education’s meeting in Sacramento. Parents went so they could have a say in how the money under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) should be invested. And, parents went to demand stronger accountability measures to ensure LCFF fulfills its promise to better engage parents and guardians. As a result, we are seeing a shift by districts and schools to interact with parents in more meaningful ways including opportunities to engage in local decisions about student learning.
This holiday season, we wish to send our heartfelt thanks to all parents for their partnership, and for supporting schools and students when it really counted. Parents have stepped up in big ways, giving their time and talent to improve education in California. Thus, we ask you to please take a moment to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished together this year on behalf of California’s greatest asset – children – and thank parents for doing what they can to ensure lifelong success for their children.
On the heels of the historic Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) signed into law last year, Families In Schools (FIS) launched our 1% Campaign demanding that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) invest more in effective parent engagement practices. The school budget for 2013-14 revealed that LAUSD only invested .04% (4 cents out of every $100 dollars) from their state funds on parent engagement. This is absolutely unacceptable, when all research shows that engaging parents will accelerate student achievement.
With pressure from online petitions, demonstrations and public testimony, LAUSD recently adopted their LCFF 2014-15 school budget/plan that allocates $7.45 million to parent engagement. This is a 272% increase from previous years and a good step in the right direction.
With your unwavering help and support we won a critical victory in the first year of the implementation of the LCFF! THANK YOU! We also want to thank Superintendent John Deasy and LAUSD school board members for their support and leadership!
However, we won’t rest until we see more and better parent engagement throughout LAUSD.
As we move forward, we will continue to rely on your support and with your commitment and passion we will continue to deepen our efforts for ensuring authentic parent engagement is practiced in every school in LAUSD.
California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is historic education funding legislation that will provide millions in additional funding to school districts statewide. Families In Schools knows that the engagement of parents is critical to the successful implementation of LCFF. We are committed to helping parents become involved in this historic effort and equipping them to represent the broader interests and educational needs that families seek for their children.
Parents have a unique opportunity to become part of the decision-making process and hold districts accountable for using funds to serve their highest need students every step of the way. A Parent’s Guide To School Funding provides a parent-friendly overview of the LCFF priority areas and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process focusing on key information parents need to know and recommended questions parents can ask the school district leaders.
We hope this guide will help parents continue to advocate for their children to ensure they seize every opportunity to be successful in school and in life.
On May 27th, a host of nonprofit organizations sent a letter to LAUSD requesting the district invest at least 1%of its total school budget for 2014-15 on effective parent engagement strategies. The requested one-percent funding will provide all parents with ample and quality trainings, activities, and supports that enhance student learning at home and at school, including how to read a school budget and learn about educational issues such as Common Core. Read the letter here.
Aside from the many changes LCFF could make around improving outcomes for all students, especially foster youth, low income, and English Learner students, the law also requires school districts to meaningfully engage parents and guardians. This week, we have answers from an expert on parent engagement around why LCFF is so significant for parents and guardians in terms of their ability to have their input and ideas reflected in districts’ LCAPs.We’ve also added more recently revised and newly-released LCAPs from districts including:* Santa Ana Unified,
* Coachella Valley Unified, and
* East Side Union High School District
Finally, we’ve rounded up the week’s LCFF news including the following stories:
* See what new statewide data says about the percentage of English Learners in California public schools
* Read an op-ed on the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and what LCFF means for the promise of equality in education
* Hear what local leaders feel is missing from Santa Ana Unified’s preliminary draft LCAP
* Learn what a recent study found about how much money is saved by investing in school nurses
* Find out what Compton Unified did to reduce truancy and how a new package of proposed laws could help address LCFF requirements around chronic absence
* Read about how East Side Union High School District responded to community feedback within its revised draft LCAP
* Learn about the different advocacy groups who are proposing that LCFF funding be invested in addressing their specific concerns.
Parents from across Los Angeles gave mixed grades for the district’s approach in involving them in budgetary decisions Wednesday, at a forum hosted by New America Media and organization Families In Schools, intended as an outlet for parents to voice their concerns.
Parents in Los Angeles agree the state’s new school funding law, known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), is a good thing in terms of opening the district up to greater parent engagement. The problem is no one is quite sure what the relationship is supposed to look like.
School districts with high concentrations of English-learner students are facing a new challenge in ensuring that parents who need language translation are informed of their role under the funding formula for schools.
California’s new Local Control Funding Formula emphasizes the importance of parental involvement in guiding school spending decisions. Parent advocates and district employees alike say they see the new emphasis as an opportunity to expand and deepen the involvement of parents in ways that haven’t happened before. Some parents, however, don’t think the efforts are going far enough. To read more visit http://bit.ly/1dZcWQX.