By John Fensterwald
An advocacy organization that analyzed dozens of school districts’ inaugural improvement plans under the state’s new school funding law praised the level of community involvement but criticized the lack of clarity in the finished product.
Under the Local Control Funding Formula, districts get more spending flexibility and autonomy but in return must reach out to parents, students, teachers and the community to help shape the plan and be accountable for the results. Although not uniform across districts, there was “an unprecedented level of engagement among school district leaders, community leaders, parents, teachers, and students,” Education Trust-West, a nonprofit based in Oakland that works to narrow the achievement gap in education, said in a report issued Tuesday. “We also find that district leaders have oriented themselves to the new law. Administrators responsible for instruction and budget are collaborating more than ever before in a real effort to align budgets with academic plans.”