Policy brief

The Local Control Funding Formula After Four Years

What Do We Know?
Julia E. Koppich
J. Koppich & Associates
Daniel C. Humphrey
Independent Education Consultant
Julie A. Marsh
University of Southern California
Morgan Polikoff
University of Southern California
Jason Willis


The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on July 1, 2013, represents the first comprehensive change in the state’s education funding system in 40 years. The LCFF eliminates nearly all categorical funding streams, shifts control of most education dollars from the state to local school districts, and empowers districts, through a process of stakeholder engagement, to shape resource allocation goals and priorities to meet local needs.


What does research reveal about the LCFF after four years of implementation?


  • The LCFF enjoys substantial support.
  • Nevertheless, public awareness about the LCFF continues to lag.
  • The LCFF is enhancing resource allocation practices, but additional progress may be constrained by inadequate base funds.
  • Stakeholder engagement is evolving, but remains challenging for many districts.
  • School board involvement in engagement and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) development activities is typically modest at best.
  • LCFF communication and accountability mechanisms (LCAPs and the California Dashboard) receive mixed reviews.
  • The LCFF has significantly expanded the role of county offices of education (COEs), but they will need to expand their capacity as California implements a new system of support.

Julia E. Koppich and Daniel C. Humphrey


Suggested citationKoppich, J., Humphrey, D. C., Marsh, J., Polikoff, M., & Willis, J. (2018, September). Getting down to facts II: The Local Control Funding Formula after four years. What do we know? [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/local-control-funding-formula-after-four-years-what-do-we-know