By Miguel Hernandez
As school staff and families head back to school this fall, districts and communities are ramping up for the second year of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Like many parents around the state, I’m starting the new school year with both excitement about the potential of this historic reform and with hope that we learn from last year’s implementation and take the needed steps to ensure that the LCFF lives up to its promise of equity and shared decision making in our schools.
Last year provided a glimpse of what is possible when we engage parents, students and community members in new and powerful ways and dedicate resources to increasing opportunity and improving outcomes for students who’ve historically been underserved by our public education system. In my district of Santa Ana, where my two daughters attend school, an estimated 3,000 parents participated in one or more of the LCFF/LCAP listening sessions and 1,700 students weighed in on district priorities, according to the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). These numbers, which reflect the interest and excitement that PICO California saw in school districts across the state, speak to the keen desire of parents and students to contribute to the planning for their schools and districts.