This initiative supports English Learners and/or low income students.

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LCAP State Priorities:
Basic-- teacher appropriate assignment
Implementation of state standards
Parental involvement
Pupil achievement
Pupil engagement
School climate
Course access
Other pupil outcomes

Overall Student
Achievement Impact

positive impact on student achievement
negative impact on student achievement

budget change


How to Play

Your mission: Reach your budget target by selecting a winning combination of cards that moves you to improved performance for all students.

The cards represent investments and savings that can lead to improved instruction at a sustainable cost. They are organized into eight categories (indicated on the top left of each card) that are common to high-performing districts and schools. They relate to teaching, class size and much more.

To reach your budget target, try to balance the savings on the right while still leaving room for investments on the left. But be careful. Some moves might meet your budget, but won't improve performance or lead to sustainable practice. Other moves might save money in the short term but significantly impair long-term performance. Some cards may only be effective if paired with specific investment options. We'll help you to identify these moves with a message that pops up when you select them.

Exploring Trade-Offs

As you explore the trade-offs, choose the "why" button to flip the cards and learn more. Hit the caution sign to learn more details about the implications of selecting this card.


Hit the caution sign to learn more details about the implications of selecting this card.

Playing Cards

Hitting play selects the cards to move you toward your budget target while taking steps towards improving.


If you play certain cards that are not strategic or transformational, a stop sign and explanation will pop up.

Your Score

As you make your selections, a running score in red at the top shows you how close you are to your budget target. Score changes to green once you've met or exceeded your budget target.

Student Achievement Impact

Some investments have a stronger impact on student achievement than others, as indicated by the arrows in the upper left corner of each card. These estimates are directionally accurate and rely heavily on the quality of execution and whether a particular card is played in combination with complementary cards. The maximum number of arrows possible is 2, the minimum is -2, and cards with little or no impact on student achievement are set to 0. You can read more about this on the FAQ page.

English Learners & Low Income Students

Individual cards are labeled specifically for impact on English learners and/or low income students. Many of these initiatives will also support all struggling students, which is ultimately beneficial to the district overall. You can explore this further on the summary of your chosen cards on the Show My Hand page.

State Priorities

For each card we identified which of the eight state priorities the initiative is most aligned with. You can explore this further on the summary of your chosen cards on the Show My Hand page.

Please Note:

The budget impacts associated with various "card" choices are estimates based on real districts—your circumstances may vary.

The student achievement impact arrows associated with each card are an estimation to show the relative impact of investments on student achievement. These are meant to be directionally accurate, but the actual magnitude of the impact will vary based on implementation decisions and the unique context of your district.

Create a free ERS account to save and manage your hands.

Select your budget target: