With the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in 2013, California began the process of revolutionizing its school funding system. The LCFF aimed to make the California school finance system more equitable, flexible, and transparent. Under the new system, funds are distributed according to the level of student need and district leaders have much more flexibility to make spending decisions.
This report, developed by Education Resource Strategies (ERS) and WestEd, describes the history of how and why one of California’s most significant education reforms in recent years came to be. The report also offers valuable lessons for policymakers, administrators, educators, and advocates who want to increase flexibility, equity, and transparency in their state K–12 funding systems.
While some aspects of the LCFF story are unique to the California context, there are valuable lessons applicable to all states pursuing a more equitable and transparent K–12 funding system.