LCFF Could See Its First Major Reform

A bill that would alter the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is awaiting signature from the governor. But a veto is still possible and has been recommended by officials at the California Department of Finance.

Assembly Bill 1835 was authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) and co-sponsored by Children Now, Education Trust-West, and Teach Plus. It passed with overwhelming support from lawmakers. It would close a ‘loophole’ in the LCFF used to determine funding for K-12 schools. If signed, districts could no longer roll over unspent money for high needs students into the General Fund. They would have to use leftover funds on high needs students in future years. It would also increase reporting and transparency requirements to ensure funds are being spent as intended. 

Advocates say the changes will encourage greater spending on the most vulnerable students and solve some of the problems flagged by State Auditor Elaine Howle last year. The Department of Finance argues the practice of rolling over unspent funds is both legal and necessary for districts’ financial flexibility.

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