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Educational governance & policy

Educational governance & leadership

California made a fundamental change its approach to education in 2013, bringing greater local discretion over local decision making in public education. These changes were intended to support both equity and system improvement in California’s schools.

Districts are primarily accountable for school improvement and receive assistance from the Statewide System of Support. As part of this System of Support, county offices of education are responsible for (1) annually approving their districts’ Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), in which districts outline their intended activities and resource allocation strategies to meet the eight state priorities delineated in the LCFF legislation; and (2) providing direct assistance when districts fail to meet expectations in priority areas.

The 2013 Local Control Funding Formula also shifted the way California governs and funds its schools, giving greater authority over resources to locally elected school boards and districts, and emphasizing the importance of local stakeholder engagement. 

PACE research in this area is designed support the continued development of these systems, and strengthen educational governance at all levels. 

Recent Topic Publications
Assessing Voters’ and Parents’ Perspectives on Current Threats to Public Education: The 2022 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
The 2022 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
The 2021–22 academic year was profoundly challenging for California schools. Eight critical issues emerged as serious threats to student learning, the operation of schools, and even  the very institution of public education: (1) gun violence, (2)…
Crisis Response in California School Districts: Leadership, Partnership, and Community
Leadership, Partnership, and Community
Public education today faces a troubling set of challenges, including declining enrollment, staffing shortages, and polarized communities, with school boards at the center of broader political debates. How did we arrive at this current state? This…
From Policy to Plans: Supporting Students During COVID-19
Supporting Students During COVID-19
In the wake of COVID-19, the California legislature mandated that local educational agencies (LEAs) develop detailed Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans (LCPs) to address student learning and progress during the 2020–21 academic year. This…
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes in schooling have been particularly difficult for students learning the English language. Recent research indicates that nearly 40 percent of English learners (ELs) nationwide were not receiving the…