Principal talking to students Photo by Joshua Hoover

Implementing California’s School Funding Formula

Will high-need students benefit?

A new report outlines the good intentions behind the state's new school finance system, and how they may not be meeting the needs of low-income, English learner, and/or foster youth.

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) reformed California’s K–12 school finance system, increasing funding transparency and equity, and making it easier to understand the goals of the state’s public education system. LCFF gives districts local control over how to spend state funding while requiring them to "increase or improve services" for high-need students in proportion to the increased funding these students generate.

But, as this report investigates, the new funding is not guaranteed to reach all of the high-needs students across the state, including low-income, English Learner, and/or foster care youth.

The research indicates that county offices of education—which are charged with assisting districts in developing and achieving accountability plans—may have extra work to do in parts of Southern California, the Bay Area, and Sacramento to ensure that extra state funding improves outcomes of high-need students who are not evenly distributed across district schools.