Governance corner
Practical tips from our MIG faculty
The board role in the Local Control and Accountability Plan
The Local Control Funding Formula enacted in July 2013 is based on three fundamental principles: local control, continuous improvement and equity. LCFF directs resources to the state’s most vulnerable student populations while giving school districts and county offices of education, or local educational agencies, greater flexibility in how they allocate these funds to serve the students in their communities. LCFF also changed how LEAs are held accountable for improvement.

All LEAs are required, in consultation with their communities and specified stakeholder groups, to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan, which details how funds will be used to improve outcomes for students. Boards should consider a discussion on their roles in developing LCAPs and monitoring their implementation, which include:

  1. Developing a deep understanding of the LCAP’s purpose and process.
  2. Developing goals and the supports necessary to achieve effective implementation of the strategies in the LCAP.
  3. Encouraging and participating in the ongoing engagement of a diverse range of stakeholders.
  4. Building an understanding of data to inform board discussions to support actions related to the LCAP.
  5. Serving as key communicators and advocates with stakeholders about LCAP strategies and outcomes.
  6. Continuously monitoring and evaluating progress of LCAP strategies.

When considering these responsibilities, boards can ask these important questions:

  1. What is your understanding of a board’s responsibility regarding the LCAP?
  2. How are LCAP goals developed? How is the board updated on the progress of these goals?
  3. How is the LEA engaging stakeholders? What does equity of engagement look like in the LEA?
  4. Where and when are LCAP meetings held? Are they held in different locations and at different times of day?
  5. What is your rate of parent/guardian participation? Are there families of specific student groups that are currently underrepresented in stakeholder discussions? How might the LEA improve outreach to those groups?
  6. What is your understanding of the data that is obtained from your LCAP meetings?
  7. What do reports look like from staff on the LCAP? Is the board getting regular updates?
  8. How are students engaged in the LCAP process?
  9. How does the board’s Unity of Purpose align with LCAP goals?

Every LEA is different, and each has its own strengths, challenges and opportunities. Successful governance occurs when boards and superintendents understand and adapt to these local circumstances and work together to achieve the best outcomes for students. It is very important to have a common understanding of the role of board members in the LCAP process so we can do the best work for students.

CSBA resources

  • The School Board Role in Creating the Conditions for Student Achievement (May 2017):
  • The Coherence Framework in Action: Promising Practices for Developing and Implementing LCAPs (October 2017):
  • School Board Members Get Down to Facts: Results of CSBA Survey of Trustees on Key Education Topics (October 2018):
  • Local Control and Accountability Plans: A Survey of School Board Member Involvement (September 2017):
  • Governance brief: “Promising Practices for Developing and Implementing LCAPs” (November 2016):