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Unpacking the LCAP Prompts & Guidelines

Unpacking the LCAP Prompts and Guidelines

In the state of California, the California State Board of Education (SBE) reviews and approves the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) template. It is a requirement that LEAs adhere to the approved templates included on the CDE website, including their instructions. 

The current LCAP template was approved by the SBE in November 2023, and it is the expectation that LEAs use this adopted template for the 2024-25 LCAP year. At the November 2023 meeting, the SBE also adopted the current Action Tables that are to be included in the overall plan. 

There were several changes and updates to the most recently adopted LCAP template. These include updates to the following LCAP components:

  • 2023–24 LCAP Annual Update (only for the 24-25 LCAP)
  • Plan Summary
  • Engaging Educational Partners
  • Goals and Actions
  • Increased or Improved Services for Foster Youth, English Learners, and Low-Income Students

Within this section of the “Enhancing Engagement for LCAP Design” module, the prompts that have been updated in the above components of the most recently adopted LCAP template will be unpacked and reviewed.

Plan Summary

Within the Plan Summary component of the LCAP template, there are several updates to the prompts within. In the current template, LEAs are asked two reflection questions on both their Annual Performance and their Technical Assistance received; previously, the two reflection prompts addressed other content. The revised prompts are included below:

  • Reflections: Annual Performance – A reflection on annual performance based on a review of the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) and local data.
  • Reflections: Technical Assistance – As applicable, a summary of the work underway as part of technical assistance.

The intent of the revised Reflections: Annual Performance prompt is to capture the LEA’s progress on both state and local data, and to provide an opportunity to share highlights and struggles that may have arisen during the development process. The template instructions encourage LEAs to consider and describe specific schools and student groups within this reflection; they are also required to address specific performance levels as outlined previously. LEAs that have received technical assistance are to describe that within the second reflection prompt, providing the reader with an overview of the support received and actions taken based on the assistance.

Engaging Educational Partners

The “Engaging Educational Partners” section of the LCAP, previously titled “Stakeholder Engagement,” contains significant updates. Within the revised template, this section provides some additional instruction (in addition to the pages of LCAP instructions at the end of the template) that helps the reader to understand this portion of the plan. It requires the LEAs to enter the educational partner(s) they have engaged, as well as the process for that engagement, and a description that shares how the LEA used feedback from partners to develop the adopted plan. Before LEAs enter that description, they are provided with the opportunity to share the partners and process given this detailed prompt:

Another key change to the 2024-25 LCAP template is the inclusion of the Equity Multiplier. According to the CDE, the Equity Multiplier “provides additional funding to local educational agencies (LEAs) for allocation to schoolsites with prior year nonstability rates greater than 25 percent and prior year socioeconomically disadvantaged pupil rates greater than 70 percent. Pursuant to California Education Code (EC) 42238.024 Equity Multiplier funding is required to be used to provide evidence-based services and supports for students at these schoolsites” (CDE, 2024).  The Equity Multiplier funds are allocated through the Principal Apportionment process and are based on a formula outlined in statute.

Goals and Actions

Within the Goals and Actions section of the LCAP, new fields include the type of goal being implemented: focus goal, equity multiplier focus goal, broad goal, or maintenance of progress goal, as well as the State Priorities being addressed by each. For more information on the types of goals, please return to “The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)” section of this course. When developing and prioritizing goals, the LEA should consider their performance on both the state and local indicators in addition to their locally collected data, as well as engagement from educational partners. 

 

Within the Goal Analysis, the revised prompts (outlined below) include a description of overall implementation of the goal while also reviewing both the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of specific actions.

  • A description of any substantive differences in planned actions and actual implementation of these actions.
  • An explanation of material differences between Budgeted Expenditures and Estimated Actual Expenditures.
  • An explanation of how effective the specific actions were in making progress toward the goal.
  • A description of any changes made to the planned goal, metrics, desired outcomes, or actions for the coming year that resulted from reflections on prior practice.

For the 2024-25 LCAP, LEAs will not complete the Goal Analysis and will instead use the 2023-24 Annual Update report on their goal analysis (more below).

Increased or Improved Services for Foster Youth, English Learners, and Low-Income Students

The Increased or Improved Services section of the LCAP is another area of the template that saw updates within the new and revised template. LEAs continue to be required to share the amount of projected supplemental and/or concentration funds, and they are now also required to specify LEA-wide and school wide actions as compared to Limited Actions in the required descriptions. LEA-wide and schoolwide actions require a goal, identified need, how the action addresses the need and why it is being provided on an LEA-wide or schoolwide basis, as well as the metric being used to monitor effectiveness. Limited actions are those that are being provided to just one or more student group that is unduplicated, and the template requires that the LEA explain the unique identified need of that group(s), how the action will specifically address the need, and the metric used to monitor how the action is improving outcomes for the designated student group. LEAs are also required to describe how they are using additional concentration grant funding if applicable.

Closing

In closing, it would be remiss to not address the 2023-24 LCAP Annual Update that is required for the 2024-25 LCAP. This is a one-time Annual Update that LEAs are required to complete for the 2023-24 academic year with the purpose of serving as a one-time transition document that will be included in the new LCAP. In the future, the Annual Update is included within the LCAP template (in the sections for “Measuring and Reporting Results” and “Analysis” prompts). 

The LCAP process provides LEAs a robust opportunity to deeply engage their communities and outline a plan that strives to increase outcomes for all students. The CDE and SBE staff, LCAP Advisory Group and educational partners worked collaboratively to update this template to meet the revisions required by Senate Bill 114 (this bill amended CA Education Code which resulted in a need to update both the LCAP and Annual Update templates/instructions).

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