Best practices for districts implementing LCFF


Courtesy of ACSA Partner

As a result of the enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013, school districts are required to engage their stakeholders and community within an annual planning and budget adoption process. Local school district budget decisions should be designed to improve student success and must be made with the input of parents and community members.

There are many important deadlines, strategies and considerations for school districts within this time frame. Here is an outline of best practices districts and communities can undertake together to successfully implement LCFF:

Create a community engagement strategy (August-September)

Effective community engagement is a cornerstone of the LCFF. School districts should establish a process and infrastructure for engaging parents and community partners within both the implementation of their latest Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) as well the development of their LCAP for the following year.

Utilize school site planning process to develop budgets (September)

For many districts, school site plans are developed after a district’s budget is adopted. To more effectively engage school site stakeholders – parents, community members, students and teachers – this school site planning process could also be used to provide suggestions on funding decisions and help drive the budget planning process before it is adopted.

Craft a vision for student success (October-December)

District leaders, parents, community members and other engaged stakeholders should work together to set a local vision and multi-year strategy for how to achieve student success by identifying preliminary budget priorities.

Prioritize district investments (January – March)

School districts should begin working with parents and community members to prioritize new investment strategies to improve student outcomes.

Align local planning and budget efforts with the LCAP template (March-April)

By this time school districts should be working to align local visions, strategies and funding decisions with the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)template which will guide the district’s budget planning process and outline how decisions meet specific state priorities. LCAPs must be adopted every July. The LCAP will allow parents, community members and stakeholders to assess and evaluate funding decisions in relations to local goals and student outcomes.

Communicate current status and vision (April-June)

Districts should use their LCAP development process to meaningfully engage, and communicate with parents, community members and stakeholders in setting the district’s goals and identifying strategies to improve student outcomes.

School districts adopt their LCAP (by July 1)

School districts must adopt their LCAP that will guide the district’s budget planning and outline how that district will meet specific state priorities.

Find similar content at or read more about the LCAP and LCFF on ACSA’s Resources Page. You can also register for our Leading CI through the LCAP Academy and attend Leadership Summit 2018, a gathering of educators and administrators at all levels that offers opportunities invaluable networking and professional development on current critical leadership and educational issues.

ACSA is dedicated to providing K-12 administrators with the most relevant content in education administration. Become a member and join us for our world-class conferences, Every Child Counts Symposium, professional development events, free one-on-one mentorship program, ongoing Equity Project, statewide advocacy efforts, members-only benefits, and much more.

Previous Article
LCAP engagement resources
LCAP engagement resources

Year-round community engagement and the LCAP moving forward.

Next Article
Crossroads: The path to local control
Crossroads: The path to local control

Crossroads: The Path to Local Control, offers insight into understanding the Local Control Funding Formula....