California Educator

March 2017

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California School Dashboard The California School Dashboard, which helps parents, educators and the public evaluate schools and districts, identify strengths and weaknesses, and provide targeted assistance, is up and running (see Educators can sign up for spring workshops offered by the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, focused on the relationship between the Dashboard (formerly known as LCFF Evaluation Rubrics) and the LCAP Template. Workshops are in March and April around the state and are open to all — including parents/guardians, students, community members, school and district staff. See LCFF: What to Know The Local Control Funding Formula, passed by the state Legislature in 2013, was designed to provide: • More resources to meet education needs of low-income students, English learners and foster youth. • More autonomy and flexibility to local dis- tricts on how to spend the money, requiring them to engage with parents, teachers and the community in set- ting funding priorities. • An equal "base grant" per student, with additional grants for 1) each high-need student served and 2) each high-need student served by the district over a 55 percent threshold. Districts are required to develop a three-year spending and academic plan, called the Local Control and Accountabil- ity Plan (LCAP), which guides and measures goals and outcomes. BRIAN GUERRERO: We have been par- ticipating since the beginning. Lennox was fortunate to be involved in the Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) program, so we maintained a lot of those programs, and pushed the idea of teacher leadership. Teachers were involved in how much money should be spent. Teachers were in position to lead. The district saw this and worked with us to develop plans to benefit students. Our LCAP committee has teachers from every one of our schools. Because of our relationship with parents, we pushed to get a parent from every school. Working together, we've been able to establish an elementary PE program, and a planning period at our middle school. Every one of our schools has a counselor, and the middle school has several. We maintained QEIA class sizes — we use LCAP money to show district and parents that size matters. We started intervention programs. We've been re-evaluating to see if they 're working. It 's not just a committee decision. All teachers go back to teachers at their sites. Parents have responsibility as well; the community members and parents can go before school board meetings the next year to ask why certain things didn't happen. We out-engaged Parent Revolution by asking parents, "Do they really represent your kids? We are the ones advocat- ing for your kids in the classroom, in schools, in districts." Parents will come to us and ask if something is true, because we have a relationship. GREG PRICE : With LCAP, when there is change, there is opportunity. We should be out there talking to parents and schools, and get- ting things done for our kids. Our district doesn't engage parents — the real trick is to get parents to believe their voice matters. There is opportunity to establish parity between labor and management. Our LCAP process is unique. All of our supplemental and concentration grants are in LCAP. The grants are meant to bridge the achievement gap. I'm getting buy-in from the community, school board members and staff. Our SSC training required principals to attend; they had an "aha!" moment of understanding what LCAP should be. Every school site is given $100,000 to do things they need to do with kids. That's important. We're working together in partnerships, with principals and school site members. We talk about how we're going to impact kids. We will focus on eight of the schools with highest needs, in areas such as math intervention teachers for first- and second-graders and smaller class sizes. We have one of our reps and one of our school site members attend the meetings. We want to replace all of our band uniforms in a four-year cycle — this costs $80,000 per high school. We're gathering signatures for our plan, and will present this to our board to say this is what we want to do with our LCAP program. We look at the funds. Is the district actu- ally spending the money? We hold them to what they spent and where the rest of the money went. Districts have a habit of moving funds around. Getting answers in written form is important. Resources are available to help local chapters prepare for opportunities presented in the new LCAP. Consult with your chapter and CTA staff member. What more do you want to know about the LCAP process? Send questions to 30 advocacy

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