Turlock Unified School District is undergoing transition as it implements a new state funding practice, the Local Control Funding Formula, which places more spending control in the hands of the local districts and is based on specific considerations such as increasing resources for students with greater need, specifically low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.
The LCFF mandates the formation of a Local Control Accountability Plan, a three year plan that declares districts’ strategies on how to address state priority areas for students and identifies specific actions districts will take to achieve those goals. The LCAP emphasizes planning and communication and must be developed with various stakeholders.
On Monday, 32 community members including TUSD representatives, local foster parents, students, and representatives from the Turlock Police Department among other organizations gathered for the inaugural TUSD LCAP steering committee to generate ideas on how to increase and improve TUSD services.
“This kind of thing falls in line with strategic planning and a changing business model, which is kind of what is happening in TUSD. The funding is new and so is the curriculum with the implementation of Common Core so this is an exciting time,” said Deborah Martin, LCAP steering committee member representing the school board. “We’ve also got a great cross section of the community here.”
The stakeholders split up into eight different small groups to develop broad, big picture objectives with each group developing goals for one of the eight state priorities: the implementation of Common Core State Standard initiatives, course access, student achievement, parent involvement, basic conditions of learning, student engagement, school climates, and other student outcomes.
“There is no right number, there is no wrong answer,” said Dana Trevethan, assistant superintendent of educational services who helped facilitate the event. “If you have a nice, general goal it sets you up for a great deal of flexibility.”
The goals will help determine where funds will be allocated in the future and the members of the eight small groups spent hours weighing the language used to outline the goals to ensure it granted them flexibility should need change in the future. The subgroups then reconvened to offer insight on the different groups’ goals for the state priorities and to make syntactical edits to ensure that all angles of the District and its students were considered.
The next step for the LCAP steering committee will be to follow up with their subgroups and reconvene with the steering committee in March for revisions. Then, the committee will share the LCAP draft with other advisory committees and at community forums between April and May for further input. The final LCAP will be presented at a board meeting in June and implemented beginning July 1.