LCAP engagement resources


Courtesy of ACSA Partner

The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) is at the center of LCFF’s implementation and will change the culture and dynamic in how districts work with and engage the community. This is both an exciting new opportunity and requirement of LCFF.

The LCAP is required to identify annual goals and specific actions geared toward implementing them. The plan must also measure student success based on eight priorities which can be found on the School District Transition to LCFF page. The LCAP provides an opportunity to focus on student outcomes as the driving factor for how districts and communities invest scarce resources.


Community engagement

Authentic and meaningful engagement between the community and schools will require ongoing partnership between local leaders and advocates. Through deliberate work schools and communities can improve communication and trust for the benefit of all students. Included below is some information on ways to get started.

1. Understand what needs to happen and by when

An important first step is to create a strategy for community engagement that is linked to critical deadlines and milestones in the budget and LCAP development process.

Districts should develop a thorough calendar that captures the timing for engaging the community, soliciting their input and finalizing the plan. Below is a compressed example timeline of major events and milestones for school districts this year:

Due Date

School district action

Week of Feb 3

Begin identifying existing stakeholder groups that can be tapped to engage in the budget process.

Week of Feb. 17

Send out invitations for the March community meeting to the general public and identified stakeholder groups.

Week of March 10

Host a community meeting to introduce LCFF and share an outline of the LCAP process.

Week of March 24

Host a community meeting to present baseline school district data and to identify the goals and metrics that will be included.

Week of April 7

Host a community meeting to discuss the district’s budget allocations based on the district’s identified goals, metrics to measure those goals and available resources.

Week of April 21

Host a community meeting to advise the district how to integrate community decisions into the LCAP Worksheet.

Week of April 28

Send LCAP and budget to the local school board for review.

Week of May 5

Present LCAP during a public school board meeting for public review.

Week of May 12

Address changes that were determined through the public review process.

Week of May 19

Send the revised LCAP and budget to local school board for review.

Week of May 19

Present Final LCAP & budget during a public school board meeting.

By July 1

Submit Final LCAP to County Office of Education.

2. Identify and engage the stakeholders that need to participate

School districts should engage a larger group of parents rather than relying on the most engaged that are already participating heavily in school meetings and activities. Districts should work to broaden parent participation by identifying and reaching out to communities not regularly represented. School districts can also utilize existing community assets by looking up the community partners that are listed on the federally mandated Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and identify organizations that can serve multiple campuses. 

3. Build the participants’ capacity to engage in a meaningful way

Once a district has identified the parents and community members to engage, they must provide them with tools and resources they need to provide a meaningful contribution to the dialogue and decision-making process. This involves clarifying the process and opportunity to engage and provide input. Districts should also provide an overview of LCFF, the LCAP and the projected budget and breakdown of supplemental and concentration funds a district will receive for high-needs kids.

To help guide a meaningful community engagement process, school district and community leaders should ask questions that help focus locally developed LCAPs on student needs and clearly identified goals, such as:

How are kids doing now?
  • Is the community receiving easily accessible and understandable data on student outcomes?
  • How are students doing along a broad array of outcomes? What are the most pressing needs and priority areas?
  • What are the unique assets in the district, schools and broader community that can support improving student outcomes?
What’s the plan for ensuring student success?
  • What student success goals should drive the work locally and be included in the LCAP?
  • How do these goals reflect the unique needs of individual school sites and varying student populations, including low income, English learners and foster youth?
  • Are these goals both challenging and achievable in a three-year time frame?
  • How will these goals be tracked each year? What data will be used?
  • How will these goals be used to determine local funding priorities?
How should local collaboration continue?
  • How should students, parents and community members continue to be engaged in an ongoing way during the planning, budgeting and local implementation review progress that happens each year?
  • How would parents and community members like to be involved in the process locally?
  • What can a district do to spark and support parent and community interest in getting involved?

LCAP moving forward

The LCAP is a three year plan that must be updated annually. While the final LCAP and district budget is adopted no later than July 1 each year, a strategic planning and budgeting process that fully engages all stakeholders is a year round process. Districts should be mindful of the time and resources required to identify and implement necessary adjustments for the upcoming year.

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.

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