In 2013, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) fundamentally changed how the State provides resources to school districts and aligns systems of accountability to support districts in improving student performance. The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), an integral component of the LCFF, provides a way for districts to continuously improve by describing their goals, actions, and services for all students. This includes a specific focus on English learners, low-income students, foster youth and students from other underserved groups. In 2017, the California School Dashboard was launched to help districts identify strengths and challenges to inform their LCAPs.

The California Statewide System of Support (SOS), which is rooted in identifying and eliminating inequities, has been established to build local capacity to ensure that districts are equipped to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to ensure that each student has the resources needed to succeed. The SOS includes the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), the California Department of Education, county offices of education, as well as many other entities that serve as “Leads” in particular areas. The Legislature created the Community Engagement Initiative in 2018, pursuant to Section 140 of Assembly Bill 1808, to take the lead with respect to community engagement.

Theory of Action

Achieving success for the Community Engagement Initiative begins with state agencies and the lead agencies collaborating to engage district participants in a Peer Leading and Learning Network informed by research and policy that is responsive to the racial, cultural, linguistic and experiential assets of the communities.

By facilitating a learning network, building peer-to-peer relationships and deepening an understanding of engagement desired by diverse communities, districts across the state will increase their ability and capacity to implement effective, equitable and culturally responsive community engagement practices. This enhanced community engagement will strengthen the capacity of families, community members, school and district staff to create authentic partnerships and initiating difficult conversations necessary to support student success.

Mission & Vision

The mission and vision of the statewide Community Engagement Initiative (CEI) is designed to:

  • Build capacity in communities and school districts to facilitate difficult conversations that focus on improving outcomes for students;

  • Identify effective models of community engagement and metrics to evaluate those models;

  • Develop effective peer-to-peer partnerships between school districts and county offices of education (COEs) to deepen community engagement;

  • Expand successful community engagement practices statewide.

  • Serve as a facilitator, resource connector, capacity builder, and relationship builder concerning school districts’ efforts to develop community engagement.


The Legislature created the Community Engagement Initiative in 2018, pursuant to Section 140 of Assembly Bill 1808, to take the lead with respect to community engagement.

Assembly Bill 1808 appropriated $13,274,000 to establish the Initiative which is to convene professional learning networks for purposes of improving local pupil outcomes and community engagement. The Initiative will also develop and conduct a statewide training on community engagement. The Initiative will be co-administered by the CCEE and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, which serves as the Lead Agency.

In May 2022 the Governor’s budget included language and funding to expand the work, deliverables, and scope of the Community Engagement Initiative, as well extending it’s operational timeline until the end of the 26-27 school year.

Lead Agencies

Local Education Agency (LEA) Partners

The CEI will convene three groups of partner schools and school districts/charter schools/county offices of education over the next several years to build statewide capacity in community engagement. Each of these Peer Leading and Learning Networks will focus on a certain aspect of capacity building, implementation and upscaling.

The initial phase of this work consists of six districts serving as the inaugural PLLN. The six districts (and corresponding county offices of education) include:

Part of a Larger Picture

Be a part of systemic change for community engagement.  Participants in the Community Engagement Initiative will play an important role not only helping those within their individual communities, but also in school districts across California.

Additionally, district partners will enjoy the opportunity to learn effective practices already seeing success improving outcomes for English learners, low-income students, foster youth, and students from other underserved groups. This includes opportunities to engage in an open dialogue on issues related to improving local pupil outcomes.