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Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

Demystifying the LCAP for Expanded Learning: FUNDING Explanation

Demystifying the LCAP for Expanded Learning: FUNDING Explanation

The California Department of Education asks school districts to produce Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) as evidence of appropriately using Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) dollars.

Every district must submit this plan in order to spend these dollars. Here’s my question: Is your Expanded Learning program written into your district’s LCAP? I know some of you out there are asking me, “bruh, why should I even care if my program is in this LCAP thing?” Simple. You’re running out of money to effectively run your program.

It’s a fiscal inevitability that your program will need more dollars, either to keep staff or to serve more students or both.

program funding

Questions answered about LCAP funding starts here!

So what can we do to meet this challenge head on rather than bury our heads in the sand and pretend like it won’t happen?

The fight for more state dollars with lobbyist and state representatives is more of a border skirmish than anything. Coming from the front line, these discussions feel as useful as writing a letter to the president. While I might get a cute letter back thanking me for “being engaged”, what really happened was I wasted an opportunity to try to influence someone who has actually seen my work in action, my district.

Enter the LCAP Process

Here’s your crash course in LCAP creation in four sentences or less. There are eight statewide priorities the California Department of Education has identified as priorities districts can allocate dollars to.

1) Basic Services
2) Implementation of State Standards
3) Course Access
4) Student Achievement
5) Other Student Outcomes
6) Student Engagement
7) Parent Involvement
8) School Climate

Every dollar that is spent is supported by one, or more, of these eight statewide priorities. Districts also need to show evidence of an “engagement process” to get stakeholder feedback and input. So basically – listen to your stakeholders, fund programs that your stakeholders feel is the most needed.

funding-your-program

Stop wondering how to get the money

Okay, that was five sentences, but that’s process in a nutshell. That’s what should be happening in front of the curtain. Behind the curtain, different discussions among board members, the superintendent, and cabinet level personnel are happening. This is often the least transparent part of the LCAP process. Pet projects and personal philosophies come into play and justifications are made to rationalize why some programs, positions, or policies are funded and others are not. (Note: unless you’re in these discussions, you don’t have control over what happens.)

So based on what you’ve just read, where do you think your energy is best served?

Yup, you guessed it, figuring out how your program fits into as many of the eight statewide priorities as possible and identifying how you can influence both the engagement process and the cabinet level discussion.

Influencing the LCAP Process

Despite being a bit of a cliché, there is strength in numbers. Every district runs their engagement process differently but one thing they are looking for is student and parent involvement. If you have student leadership clubs in your programs, this is the ideal venue for your students to advocate for what they believe in. Mobilize your students, parents, and community to speak on the benefits of your Expanded Learning program at these engagement meetings. This will show your school board and cabinet level decision makers how much these programs are utilized and valued.

By all means, provide data if you can, but the most powerful data will be anecdotal. As a great colleague of mine Marcus Strother (@iameducatedwrote recently #LifeDataMatters. Our stories need to be shared with decision makers. Unfortunately, all too often, our decision makers are the most disconnected from the work. It’s our responsibility to remind them of the transformational work we do on a daily basis. Flood the engagement meetings with allies and make your voices heard.

I would recommend sticking to two talking points to make sure the message and narrative are consistent. Identify two components or themes of how being in the LCAP will benefit your programs. For instance: 1) More dollars to pay for more staff to serve more students and 2) covering the cost of transportation for educational excursions. When parents or students tell their stories their stories, they should tie it back to the two components.

Example – Parent A: (tells awesome story of how your program kept her child from being hungry and bullied).  Parent wraps up the story with: “More students should have this amazing opportunity. We want to serve more students in our Expanded Learning programs.”

Again, there’s strength in numbers. The more participants you have at these meetings, the more amplified your message becomes.

As for influencing the behind-the-curtain cabinet level discussion, more tact is required. Before you start this journey it’s important to take an inventory of who your allies and advocates are. These are individuals who genuinely believe in the benefits of the work that’s done in Expanded Learning. These allies will speak on your behalf in these cabinet level discussions. Provide them with as much information as possible – better yet, provide them with possible solutions to support your programs. Solutions will reiterate the messages that were shared at the engagement meetings.

Again, it’s entirely possible that the cabinet level personnel are so disconnected that they don’t even know how to help.

Providing solutions helps cabinet with the cognitive workload and allow them to evaluate impact and feasibility as opposed to coming up with a generic band-aid that’s just a likely attempt to appease. If one of your advocates is a school board member, this conversation becomes a lot easier and decisions might be made quicker. But tread lightly when working with board members so as to not ruffle any feathers or give the appearance of undermining colleagues. (Side note: influence is an amazing thing and you haven’t studied it – get on it. Check out Robert Cialdini’s book Influence)

Write in Expanded Learning into your District’s LCAP

When providing solutions it’s helpful to have language to provide your allies when they advocate for your programs. The following are frames are for you to use in your school/district LCAP plan. A few things to note: I’ve broken down each state priority in the same way you’ll find it in the LCAP Template. It’s likely that your district is using this same tool to craft their own LCAP. I’ve selected Annual Measurable Outcomes and Actions & Services to spell out a little more of the language you can use to include Expanded Learning into your LCAP. These examples are geared to leveraging LCFF dollars to hire more staff to serve more students. My hope is that you’ll be able to see how Expanded Learning can fit everywhere in the LCAP – it just needs to be framed correctly.

Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way – get at me on them twitters (@mr_ayyy).

Priority 1 – Basic Services

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase student participation by ___% by serving more students in Expanded Learning programs.

Actual – “Student participation increased by ___% by serving more student in Expanded Learning programs.

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire appropriate number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from General Fund or Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 2 – Implementation of State Standards

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase the number of opportunities by X% within Expanded Learning programs for students to be exposed to Deeper Learning practices that reinforce state standards.

Actual – “Expanded Learning programs provided X number of opportunities for students to engage in Deeper Learning practices that reinforce state standards. Student participation within Deeper Learning increased by ___% by among participants in Expanded Learning programs. This is X% difference between non-participants”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase offering of “deeper learning” practices within Expanded Learning programs to reinforce state standards.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire the appropriate number of frontline staff to teach X classes that expand on core day instruction within Expanded Learning programs.”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to teach and provide X number of opportunities in Expanded Learning programs.”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from General Fund or Title I or Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 3 – Course Access

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase the number of college & career readiness type offerings by  ___% by offering pathways in Expanded Learning programs. Expanded Learning programs will emphasize “Deeper Learning” practices in these college & career pathways.”

Actual – “College and Career pathway opportunities increased X%. Student participation increased by ___% by among participants in Expanded Learning programs. This is X% difference between non-participants”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase offering of college & career pathways within Expanded Learning programs.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire the appropriate number of frontline staff to teach X classes in Expanded Learning programs.”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to teach in Expanded Learning programs.”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from General Fund or Title I)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 4 – Student Achievement

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase student graduation/promotion rate by ___% by serving more students in Expanded Learning programs. We will use district wide graduation/promotion data to document and track overall student graduation/promotion eligibility between participants and non-participants of our Expanded Learning programs.”

Actual – “Student graduation/promotion rate increased by ___% by among participants in Expanded Learning programs. This is X% difference between non-participants”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire appropriate number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from Supplemental Concentration or Title I)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 5 – Other Student Outcomes

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase student attendance by ___% by serving more students in Expanded Learning programs. We will use district wide attendance data to document and track overall student attendance between participants and non-participants of our Expanded Learning programs.”

Actual – “Student attendance increased by ___% by among participants in Expanded Learning programs. This is X% difference between non-participants”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire appropriate number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 6 – Student Engagement

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase student engagement by ___% by serving more students in Expanded Learning programs. We will use Gallup’s Student Survey to document and track overall student engagement.”

Actual – “Student engagement increased by ___% by serving more student in Expanded Learning programs.  Gallup’s Student Survey showed X% of overall student engagement.”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire appropriate number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 7 – Parent Involvement

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase parent involvement by ___% by hosting more student exhibitions through our Expanded Learning programs. We will use district created involvement survey to document and track overall parent involvement.”

Actual – “Parent involvement increased by ___% by hosting more student exhibitions in our Expanded Learning programs.  The district created survey showed X% of overall parent involvement.”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Host X more student exhibition nights in our Expanded Learning programs.”

Actual – “Hosted X number of student exhibition nights in our Expanded Learning programs.  X amount of parents participated and reported a positive experience.”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

Priority 8 – School Climate

Annual Measurable Outcomes

Expected – “Increase student Hope by ___% by serving more students in Expanded Learning programs. We will use Gallup’s Student Survey to document and track overall student engagement.”

Actual – “Student Hope increased by ___% by serving more student in Expanded Learning programs.  Gallup’s Student Survey showed X% of overall student engagement.”

Actions and Services

Action – “Increase enrollment of Expanded Learning program to serve X% more students.”

Action/Services

Planned – “Hire appropriate number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Actual – “Hired X number of frontline staff to serve X% more students in Expanded Learning program and still maintain 20:1 staff to student ratio (per Education Code 8483.4)”

Expenditures

Budgeted – (Crank the numbers out and provide a fiscal context of how much this will cost – the funding source will likely come from Supplemental Concentration)

Estimated Actual – (See above)

no-more-excuses-lcap

Now you know how to apply and explain funding for your program.

 

For breakfast, I had green tea with 40 grams of coconut oil.

Author Profile: @rodrigoarancibia

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