CSBA governance brief guides board members through key roles in LCAP process

A new CSBA resource developed by board members and superintendents delivers a clear understanding of six key roles for governance teams in Local Control and Accountability Plan development and implementation, an annual document not only required by law but also foundational to improving student outcomes.

CSBA governance brief guides board members through key roles in LCAP process

The May 2019 governance brief “Six Essential School Board Roles in LCAP Implementation and Development” is the result of CSBA’s two-year professional learning network with more than 30 school board member and superintendent participants from small, medium and large districts spanning California (the full list of participants is included on page 8 of the brief). The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence provided support for the network.

“This brief was developed by board members and superintendents from across the state. It is a great resource for board members and superintendents, as a governance team, to discuss the role that the whole board and individual board members should play in the development and implementation of their district’s LCAP,” said Manuel Buenrostro, CSBA education policy analyst. “The LCAP is meant to support districts in advancing equity by making investments to close opportunity and achievement gaps — this is a focus that should be central to each role that board members play in the LCAP process.”

Exploring key roles and tracking progress

From an LCAP orientation process for newly elected board members to continually monitoring student outcome data, the comprehensive governance brief identifies six essential school board roles:

  1. Develop a deep understanding of the LCAP purpose and process;
  2. Develop LCAP goals and the supports necessary to achieve effective implementation of the strategies in the LCAP;
  3. Encourage and participate in the ongoing engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders;
  4. Build an understanding of data to inform board discussions and actions related to the LCAP;
  5. Serve as key communicators and advocates with stakeholders about LCAP strategies and outcomes; and
  6. Continuously monitor and evaluate progress of LCAP strategies.

Among strategies explored within the key roles are steps such as developing a clear definition of equity for the district, supporting implementation by staff, ensuring opportunities are in place to engage all stakeholders, creating the conditions for the governance team to discuss data and having ongoing questions about outcomes and progress of strategies.

In addition to exploring the key roles, the brief includes a useful checklist to support governance teams in the development and implementation of their district’s LCAP. While offering a framework, the tool should be considered within an understanding of local characteristics, given that every district and community has different strengths and challenges.

LCAP primer
The advent of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula in 2013 delivered greater local control to districts and simultaneously changed how local educational agencies are held accountable for improvement. Under LCFF, all LEAs are required to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan, in consultation with their communities and specified stakeholder groups, that details how funds will be used to improve outcomes for students.
Further, while the resource was created by district-level board members and superintendents, the recommended roles and actions can also be pertinent for county boards of education that adopt LCAPs with strategies to improve outcomes for alternative school students.
Find the full brief and other CSBA governance resources at