LCAP’s new feature: An LCFF budget overview for parents
The Local Control and Accountability Plan will have a new feature this year — a Local Control Funding Formula budget overview for parents and guardians. The document is intended to be a user-friendly budget summary linking district, county office of education or charter school expenditures to goals, actions and services described in the LCAP.

As established by Assembly Bill 1808 (Ch. 32) passed in 2018), the budget overview must contain specific information, including, but not limited to, total projected LCFF revenue for the upcoming fiscal year, projected general fund expenditures, budgeted expenditures for planned actions and services, and current-year expenditures for increased or improved services for “high needs” students. “High needs” students are unduplicated students for LCFF funding purposes, a category comprised of English learners, homeless and foster youths, and students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. In addition, the overview must contain a brief description of the activities or programs supported by general fund expenditures that are not included in the LCAP.

The budget overview must be based on a template created by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Office. This template, approved by the State Board of Education in January, can be found on the California Department of Education’s website. The Excel worksheet requires both data entry and narrative responses.

Some of the components of the budget overview were previously embedded within the LCAP template. However, now that they are addressed in the separate budget overview for parents and guardians, that portion of the LCAP template has been removed to minimize duplication of effort.

Local Control Funding Formula budget
The budget overview must be developed and approved using the same process as required for the LCAP. That means the budget overview is subject to requirements for:

  • Consultation with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, employee bargaining units, parents/guardians and students
  • Review and input by a parent advisory committee and, as applicable, an English learner parent advisory committee
  • At least one public hearing, held at the same meeting as the public hearing on the LCAP and the proposed budget
  • Review and adoption by the governing board prior to July 1 each year

When completed, the budget overview must be attached as a cover to the LCAP and posted prominently on the homepage of the district/County Office of Education website. Along with the LCAP, the budget overview must be filed with the county superintendent of schools or Superintendent of Public Instruction, as applicable, who will review it for adherence to the template. If the budget overview is not approved, districts/COEs can expect their LCAP approval to be withheld and to receive technical assistance from county or CDE staff.

“The governing board plays a key role in promoting effective communication with the public regarding the local educational agency’s goals and budget priorities,” said Robert Tuerck, CSBA’s assistant executive director, Policy and Governance Technology Services. “The budget overview for parents is one more tool that can help provide fiscal transparency to the community while demonstrating commitment to achieve the goals identified in the LCAP.”

  • To help ensure an effective process, the board may:
  • Adopt clear board policies that reflect requirements related to the development and approval of the budget overview. See CSBA’s sample BP 0460 – Local Control and Accountability Plan (December 2018) and BP 3100 – Budget (March 2019).
  • Share these policies with all staff responsible for development of the LCAP and budget overview.
  • Carefully review the proposed budget overview in conjunction with the LCAP and the district/COE budget, ensuring alignment among all the documents.
  • Communicate a consistent message to parents/guardians and the public regarding district/COE efforts to improve outcomes for all students.