California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a bold policy move towards equity that empowers local educators and communities. Current research provides evidence about its positive reception but highlights tensions around fully living up to its promise for underserved California students. Focusing on English language learners (ELLs) and two districts, this report responds to the call for more fine-grained exploration about the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process. Examined data include districts’ LCAPs, local ELL policies, and interview data on how local actors have undertaken their budgeting charge with regards to ELLs. Analytical discussion of local perspectives, accomplishments, and sensemaking is followed by concluding insights seeking to promote the realization of the LCFF’s vision of educational equity for ELLs.
This 2019 PACE study found the depth and strength of California districts’ preK–3 alignment efforts to vary considerably. As preK–3 alignment is not an explicit state priority, districts do not feel obligated to focus on it in the face of many other demands. Divergent beliefs among districts about the role and purpose of preschool can enhance or inhibit alignment efforts, as can the formal roles of district preK directors and elementary principals who have preKs on their campuses. Different licensing requirements for preK and elementary teachers as well as the complicated web of regulations associated with different funding streams influence the strength of alignment efforts. Even within these constraints, however, there are many steps districts can take to improve preK–3 alignment.