LCFF and LCAP: What Can SCs do for Legislatively Protected Youth?
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) replaces California’s state-controlled school finance system with one that has more local control and greater transparency. Under the new system districts will receive base funding, plus supplemental funds for legislatively protected youth. Students classified “protected” include: Low-Income (LI), English Learners (EL) and Foster Youth (FY). The vast majority of school districts will receive more funding under the new formula than was received in previous years.
Under LCFF, school districts must adopt and submit a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) by July 1, 2014. Each district’s LCAP must describe: 1) annual goals will be met in each of eight (8) state priority areas; 2) specific considerations for subgroups for districts with 55% or more legislatively protected youth (EI/LI/FY); and 3) how money will be spent to fund actions and services for all students in each of the state priority areas. School counselors must demonstrate the many ways their program provides for the needs of all students for college and career readiness and supports additional school counseling services specifically targeted to support the success of legislatively protected youth. Suggestions related to activities and services often performed by school counseling are provided below.
The LCFF and the LCAP regulations provide a unique opportunity for school counselors to educate faculty, parents, community agencies, and local school boards on the important ways school counseling programs and services help the district meet the requirements of the Local Accountability Plans (LCAP). School counselors are encouraged to a) participate in focus groups; b) present data on student gaps and needs; c) provide descriptions of current and proposed services for all students; d) share outcomes of current programs and services; and e) propose supplemental services for marginalized youth.
The transformational changes to funding in California eliminated categorical funds specifically for school counseling programs (such as AB 1802). Without targeted funds or a state law requiring school counselors, positions previously funded by soft money may also be lost. Now is the time for school counselors to educate themselves and all key stakeholders about funding needs, suggested actions, and benefits of school counseling programs for all students and legislatively protected youth (see below)! More advocacy information for school counselors is available in this PowerPoint or by watching this voiceover PowerPoint and these documents on funding concerns and the 8 priority areas.