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LCFF Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Local Control Funding Formula.

LCFF Funding

How is the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) different from what was in place under revenue limits? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

One of the goals of the LCFF is to simplify how state funding is provided to local educational agencies (LEAs). Under the old funding system, each school district was funded based on a unique revenue limit, multiplied by its average daily attendance (ADA). In addition, districts received restricted funding for over 50 categorical programs which were designed to provide targeted services based on the demographics and needs of the students in each district.

Under the LCFF funding system, revenue limits and most state categorical programs have been eliminated. The LCFF creates funding targets based on student characteristics and provides greater flexibility to use these funds to improve student outcomes. For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF funding targets consist of grade span-specific base grants plus supplemental and concentration grants that are calculated based on student demographic factors. For county offices of education (COEs), the LCFF funding targets consist of an amount for COE oversight activities and instructional programs.

When will the LCFF be fully implemented? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Implementation of the LCFF began in 2013–14. Initially, the state Department of Finance (DOF) estimated that achieving full funding levels for school districts and charter schools under the LCFF would take eight years based on then-current Proposition 98 growth projections, which would result in full implementation by fiscal year 2020-21. Full implementation for COEs was estimated to take two years. While those initial timelines have not formally changed, we are ahead of the initial implementation schedule. See Figure 1 in the LCFF Overview for the most current implementation status.

How are LCFF target levels calculated for school districts and charter schools? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Funding targets under the LCFF consist of:

  • Grade span-specific base grants based on ADA, that reflect adjustments for grades K–3 class sizes and grades 9–12 (school districts with qualifying schools may receive a necessary small school (NSS) allowance in lieu of the base grants);
  • Supplemental grants equal to 20 percent of the adjusted base grants multiplied by the LEA’s unduplicated percentage of English learners, income eligible for free or reduced-price meals, and foster youth pupils;
  • Concentration grants equal to 50 percent of the adjusted base grants multiplied by an LEA’s percentage of unduplicated pupils above 55 percent; and
  • Two add-ons equal to the amounts school districts received in 2012–13 for the Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant and Home-to-School Transportation programs.
  • Base, supplemental, and concentration grants, as well as necessary small school allowances, will receive cost-of-living adjustments as provided through the annual budget.

LCFF Target calculations are described in detail in the School District LCFF Target Entitlement and Charter School Target Entitlement sections of the Exhibit Reference Guides available on the Principal Apportionment web page for each fiscal year.

How are funding levels calculated for school districts and charter schools during the LCFF phase-in period? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

In general, the calculation of LCFF funding throughout the phase-in period is based on an LEA’s prior year funding (floor) as well as its LCFF target amount.

For school districts and charter schools, the floor consists of 2012–13 deficited school district revenue limit funding including basic aid fair share reductions, or charter school general purpose block grant funding, divided by 2012-13 average daily attendance (ADA), and then multiplied by current year ADA. For school districts with qualifying schools, NSS ADA is funded in accordance with 2012-13 deficited NSS allowances in lieu of revenue limit funding. Added to that floor is the sum of any applicable categorical program funding. For school districts, the categorical funding is a lump sum amount that is based on what the district received from 50-plus categorical programs in 2012-13 (see FAQ titled Categorical Programs for a list of the programs subsumed into LCFF). For charter schools, the categoricals are based primarily on what was received from the categorical block grant in 2012-13, adjusted for current year ADA, plus a lump sum for any categoricals included in LCFF that were received outside of the 2012-13 categorical block grant.

LCFF transition funding during the phase-in period is based on the difference between each school district and charter school’s floor and its new LCFF target; this difference is called the need. The floor calculation includes any prior year gap funding, converted to a per-ADA value that is then applied to current year ADA. Every school district and charter school that is not already funded based on its target will receive a percentage of its need, based on how much is appropriated in the state budget each fiscal year for this purpose. This additional funding is called gap funding. An LEA's funding amount during the phase-in period is then based on a recalculation of its LCFF target and its floor, with gap funding added to the floor to arrive at the total transition entitlement for that year.

LCFF transition calculations are described in detail in the School District LCFF Transition Calculation and Charter School Transition Calculation sections of the Exhibit Reference Guides available on the Principal Apportionment web page for each fiscal year.

What is Economic Recovery Target funding and how can I get it? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

An Economic Recovery Target (ERT) entitlement is based on the difference between the amount a school district or charter school would have received under the old funding system and the estimated amount it would receive for LCFF funding in 2020–21, based on certain criteria. To determine this difference, assumptions for the old funding system include:

  • 2012–13 undeficited revenue limits, or block grant funding for charter schools, with cost-of-living adjustments of 1.57 percent in 2013–14 and 1.94 percent each year from 2014 –15 through 2020–21; and
  • Categorical program funding levels restored to the pre-recession level

Only school districts and charter schools that were at, or below, the 90th percentile of per-pupil funding rates of school districts under the old funding system as determined at the 2013-14 P-2 certification, are eligible for ERT payments. An LEA eligible to receive ERT payments will receive one-eighth of its payment in 2013–14, two-eighths of its payment in 2014–15, and so on, following this pattern until it has reached its full amount in 2020–21, at which time the ERT payment will become a permanent add-on to the LEA’s LCFF formula funding. ERT funding was calculated in 2013-14 and funding eligibility is closed to new participants.

How are funds apportioned under LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

LCFF is funded through a combination of local property taxes and state aid. State aid is distributed through the Principal Apportionment. For information on the Principal Apportionment, including the Principal Apportionment payment schedule, go to the Principal Apportionment Web page.

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Financial Accounting

In the standardized account code structure (SACS), will all the LCFF funding be accounted for as an unrestricted resource? (Revised 17-Nov-2014)

All LCFF funding will be accounted for as an unrestricted resource.

How can expenditures be coded to address LCFF state priorities?

Funding is provided in an unrestricted resource code. LEAs may define local codes to track expenditures if they wish.

Does the LCFF result in any modification or elimination of the “Minimum Classroom Compensation” requirements of EC Section 41372?

No.

Will the recommended level for the reserve for economic uncertainties be increased?

The regulations regarding the recommended reserve for economic uncertainties remain in place under the LCFF (California Code of Regulations Title 5, Section 15449 External link opens in new window or tab.).

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May Budget Revision

Do LEAs have to update their 2015-16 LCAPs to reflect the new gap closure percentage? (Posted 12-Jun-2015)

Yes. Regulations require LEAs to estimate their Supplemental and Concentration grant amounts and minimum proportionality percentage for the fiscal year for which the LCAP is adopted using "the most recent [gap closure] percentage calculated by the Department of Finance.” (5 CCR 15496(a).) Accordingly, LEAs must use the percentage provided in the May Revision, 53.08%.

Does the new gap closure percentage mean my LEA has to go through the stakeholder engagement process again to modify the 2015-16 LCAP before adoption?

Not necessarily. Each LEA will need to consider its unique circumstances. Some LEAs may determine that additional stakeholder engagement is necessary because the increased funding in the May Revision will allow the LEA to implement actions and services not previously discussed in LCAP planning sessions, but other LEAs may determine that the increased funding will simply accelerate the implementation of the planned actions and services already identified in the LCAP that has not been adopted. The adjustment of the implementation timeline would be consistent with the transparency and stakeholder input inherent in the intent of the LCFF legislation and the LCAP development. 

Please note that the LCAP implications for increased projected funding for the upcoming fiscal year are not limited to proportionality sections of the LCAP, of course, and may include potential increases in planned actions and services to meet all LCAP goals.

Our LEA’s 2015-16 LCAP is essentially finished and ready to be adopted. With the increased funding in the May Revision, significant changes need to be made to the LCAP. How does the LEA proceed?

Education Code (EC) sections 52062 and 52068 set forth the specific procedures that school districts and COEs respectively must follow to develop and adopt an LCAP.    EC sections 52070 and 52070.5 set forth the respective review and approval processes.  These processes provide multiple opportunities for an LEA to respond to feedback and make changes to its LCAP late in the development process, but prior to approval (e.g., in response to recommendations from members of the public at the public hearing prior to adoption and in a public meeting in response to recommendations for amendments from the reviewing COE or the SPI).    

The LCAP has been adopted, but not yet approved by the COE or the SPI; can the LCAP be amended?

Yes.  Please see the previous question and answer.

If a district or COE made revisions to an adopted and approved LCAP adhering to the process identified in EC sections 52062 or 52068, must the revised LCAP be approved by the district’s COE or the SPI?

Yes.  EC sections 52062(c) and 52068(c) allow districts and COEs to adopt revisions to an LCAP during the period the LCAP is in effect if they follow the same process for adopting the LCAP.  EC sections 52070 and 52070.5 specify that no later than five days after the adoption of an LCAP or annual update to an LCAP, the plan must be filed with the COE or CDE accordingly. While timelines identified in these sections are reflective of an annual process, statute does provide a process for a revised LCAP to be approved by the appropriate entity.

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Local Control and Accountability Plans

What is the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)?

The LCAP is an important component of the LCFF. Under the LCFF all LEAs are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to EC Section 52060(d).

What does it mean to adhere to the SBE adopted template? (Posted 12-May-2015)

The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the Annual Update to the LCAP must be completed in conformance with the State Board of Education approved template. (Education Code sections 47606.5, 52060, 52061, 52064, 52066 and 52067; California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5CCR), Section 15495(c).) The template, as set forth in regulations at 5CCR Section 15497.5, may not be materially altered. This means, for example, that the instructions, headers, guiding questions, and tables (including text in the tables, such as the student subgroup indicators) may not be deleted. The template allows for an LEA to resize pages, attach additional pages, and duplicate and expand fields as necessary in order to facilitate the completion of the LCAP and Annual Update. To improve readability and/or accessibility, minor variations, in spacing, font size, margins, row heights or column widths are not considered material changes.

Does the LCAP replace Local Educational Agency Plans (LEAPs) required under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)?

The LCAP does not replace the federal requirements related to LEA Plans in Section 1112 of the ESEA. However, the LCAP template will be developed by the SBE in a manner that meets both the LCAP requirements and the federal requirements, and the SBE will take steps to minimize duplication of effort at the local level to the greatest extent possible (EC Section 52064).

What are the planning requirements for LEAs identified for program improvement pursuant to ESEA?

LEAs identified for program improvement must continue to meet current LEA Plan requirements pursuant to ESEA Section 1116(c)(7).

How does the LCAP affect site plans (i.e., Single Plan for Student Achievement)?

According to EC Section 52062, specific actions included in the LCAP, or the annual update of the LCAP, must be consistent with the strategies included in the school plans submitted pursuant to EC Section 64001.

Must all state priorities be addressed in each year or over the three year period? (Revised 09-Dec-2015)

EC sections 52060 and 52066 specify that the LCAP must include a description of the annual goals to be achieved for all students and each student group for each state priority. Goals must address each of the state priorities and any additional local priorities; however, one goal may address multiple priorities. An LEA may identify which school sites and subgroups have the same goals, and group and describe those goals together. If a single goal requires longer than one year to implement fully, the LCAP should reflect the annual incremental actions, services, and expenditures, as well as the annual anticipated progress, that the district expects to achieve for each student group. These annual benchmarks will assist LEAs and the community to monitor the progress of the plan.

The instructions in Section 2 on page 12 of the LCAP template state that each goal table must identify the state and/or local priorities “addressed” by the goal.  How does a goal “address” a state priority?  (Posted 09-Dec-2015)  

A goal addresses a state priority if one or more of the expected annual measurable outcomes in the goal table uses one or more of the applicable required metrics for that priority (e.g., high school graduation rate for the pupil engagement priority).  In addition, a goal addresses a state priority that has optional metrics by including a locally-selected metric for that priority.  As explained in the previous question, the LCAP must include a description of the annual goals for all students and each student group to be achieved for each state priorityEC sections 52060 and 52066 set forth these state priorities, some of which include specified measures and objectives. Consequently, for each LCAP year, the goals in the LCAP must cumulatively identify and describe annual expected measurable outcomes for all students and student groups using, at minimum, these required metrics unless a given priority or metric is inapplicable. 

Does a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) need to address each state priority equally? (Posted 09-Dec-2015)

No. While the LCAP must include annual goals to be achieved for each state priority, a local educational agency may choose to focus its LCAP on a specific subset of the state priorities and any local priorities. A local educational agency does not need to address each priority equally in terms of number of related goals, planned actions or expenditures. For example, a district governing board might adopt an LCAP goal that addresses three state priorities and describes a limited number of planned actions and expenditures to achieve the goal, and adopt another LCAP goal that addresses only one priority yet describes a much greater number of planned actions and expenditures to achieve that goal.

Will there be a new LCAP template that LEAs must use in 2016–17? (Posted 09-Dec-2015)

No. The current LCAP and Annual Update template is the one all LEAs will use in 2016–17.

May a school district or county office of education make changes to its Local Control and Accountability Plan and Annual Update (LCAP) subsequent to the local governing board adopting it? (Posted 09-Dec-2015)

Yes. There are two possible processes for making changes to an LCAP: revising an LCAP during the period it is in effect, and amending an LCAP during the review and approval process.

During the period the LCAP is in effect, which is after it is approved by the county superintendent of schools or the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), the local governing board may adopt revisions if it follows the same process it used for adopting the LCAP initially (specifically the steps set forth in Education Code (EC) Section 52062 or Section 52068) and adopts the revisions in a public meeting. The revised LCAP would then need to be approved by the county superintendent of schools or the SPI as appropriate.

Alternatively, a district governing board may amend an adopted LCAP without going through the steps in EC Section 52062 or Section 52068 if the amendments are made in response to requests for clarification and/or recommendations for amendments from the local county superintendent of schools or the SPI during the LCAP review and approval process. Additionally, EC Sections 52070 and 52070.5 provides that on or before August 15th of each year, a county superintendent of schools or the SPI may seek clarification, in writing, from the local governing board about the contents of the LCAP, to which the local governing board must respond, in writing, within 15 days. Within 15 days of receiving a response, the county superintendent of schools or the SPI may submit recommendations, in writing, for amendments to the LCAP. The local governing board must then consider the written recommendations in a public meeting within 15 days of receipt.

What State Standards must the LCAP address as part of Priority 2? (Posted 21-Oct-2014)

The LCAP must include goals and related actions that address implementation of the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board. The content standards adopted by the California State Board of Education are listed below:

  • English Language Arts – Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Adopted August 2010
  • Mathematics – Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, Adopted August 2010 and modified January 2013
  • English Language Development, Adopted November 2012
  • Career Technical Education, Updated January 2013
  • Health Education Content Standards, Adopted March 2008
  • History-Social Science, Adopted October 1998
  • Model School Library Standards, Adopted September 2010
  • Physical Education Model Content Standards, Adopted January 2005
  • Next Generation Science Standards, Adopted 2013
  • Visual and Performing Arts, Adopted January 2001
  • World Language, Adopted January 2009

The list of the standards may also be accessed at the CDE’s Content Standards Web page.

Further, Priority 2 requires the description of how programs and services will enable English Learners to access the English-Language Arts (PDF) and Mathematics (PDF) Common Core academic standards adopted pursuant to Section 60605.8 and the English Language Development standards adopted pursuant to Section 60811.3 for purposes of gaining academic content knowledge and English language proficiency.

What is expected of LEAs in completing Section 3.A of the current LCAP template, including the requirement to “describe” any LEA-wide or school-wide use of supplemental and concentration funding?  (Posted 25-Apr-2016)

LEAs must explain how they will expend supplemental and concentration funds in the LCAP year and how any proposed LEA-wide or school-wide uses of supplemental and concentration funding will meet the relevant standards set forth in the LCFF expenditure regulations (5 CCR 15496(b)). 

Specifically, this means that LEAs must explain how any proposed LEA-wide or school-wide uses of these funds will support services that “are principally directed towards, and are effective in, meeting the [LEA’s] goals for its unduplicated pupils in the state or any local priority areas.” 

For school districts that have an enrollment of less than 55% unduplicated pupils in the district or less than 40% unduplicated pupils at a school during the LCAP year, the description must also describe how the proposed district-wide or school-wide services are “the most effective use of funds to meet the district’s goals for unduplicated pupils in the state and any local priorities.”

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Unduplicated Pupils and California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement
Data System

Will the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) data collection processes change under the LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

No, data collection processes will not change. However, the CDE has added several new reports to allow LEAs to view their reported enrollment and unduplicated pupil counts that will be used in your LCFF funding calculations. See following questions for descriptions of the new reports.

How are “unduplicated pupils” defined for purposes of calculating supplemental and concentration grant amounts? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Supplemental and concentration grant amounts are calculated based on the percentage of “unduplicated pupils” enrolled in the LEA on Census Day (first Wednesday in October) as certified for Fall 1. The percentage equals:

  • Unduplicated count of pupils who (1) are English learners, (2) meet income or categorical eligibility requirements for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, or (3) are foster youth. “Unduplicated count” means that each pupil is counted only once even if the pupil meets more than one of these criteria (EC sections 2574(b)(2) and 42238.02(b)(1)).
  • Divided by total enrollment in the LEA (EC sections 2574(b)(1) and 42238.02(b)(5)).

What data will be used to determine the unduplicated student count? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Enrollment and other demographic data submitted by local educational agencies (LEAs) to CALPADS are used as the starting point for calculating the unduplicated student count. CALPADS Certification Report 1.17 – FRPM/English Learner/Foster Youth – Count, displays the counts of students by category and provides an unduplicated total. LEAs may use CALPADS Report 1.18 – FRPM/English Learner/Foster Youth – Student List to review the students included in report 1.17. LEAs are required to certify report 1.17 during the CALPADS Fall 1 submission.

In order to be counted in report 1.17 a student must have an open primary or short-term enrollment in CALPADS over Census Day (the first Wednesday in October) and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Have a program record with an education program code of Homeless (191), Migrant (135), Free Meal Program (181), or Reduced-Price Meal Program (182), that is open over Census Day
  • Have an English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) of “English learner” (EL) that is effective over Census Day
  • Be directly certified in July through November as being eligible for free meals based on a statewide match conducted by CALPADS
  • Be identified as a foster youth based on a statewide match conducted by CALPADS
  • Be identified as a foster youth through a local data matching process and submitted to and validated by CALPADS

LEAs do not need to submit information to CALPADS for students identified in statewide matches to be included in report 1.17.

CALPADS Report 1.19 is used by COEs and charter schools operating county programs to report the transfer of students that are served by the county but funded through the district (or served by the charter but funded through the county). These counts are then transferred to the appropriate LEA for purposes of LCFF funding calculations.

What is the role of county offices of education (COEs) in reviewing data on unduplicated students? (Posted 08-July-2014)

EC Section 42238.02(b)(3)(A) requires COEs to “review and validate certified aggregate English learner, foster youth, and free or reduced-price meal eligible pupil data for school districts and charter schools under its jurisdiction to ensure the data is reported accurately.”

To assist COEs to meet this requirement, CALPADS includes a County/LEA Authorizing Report, Report C/A 1.17 – C/A FRPM/English Learner/Foster Youth Counts. This report displays, for the school districts and charter schools in the COE’s jurisdiction, the certified counts of unduplicated students by LEA and schools within the LEA. COEs should review this report for reasonableness and communicate any potential issues to the school district or charter school during the CALPADS Fall 1 amendment window. COEs may want to judge reasonableness based on prior year data. COEs are not required to certify this report.

To access this report, the CALPADS LEA Administrator for the COE must:

  1. Create a new account with specific roles or add specific roles to the existing account as follows:
    1. County Role
    2. Free Reduced Lunch
  2. Log into CALPADS with appropriate account
  3. Navigate to the Reports tab and select the County/LEA Authorizing Reports
  4. Select Report C/A 1.17 – C/A FRPM/English Learner/Foster Youth – Count

Will any adjustments be applied to the unduplicated student count certified in Fall 1 prior to use in LCFF calculations? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The data from CALPADS Certification Report 1.17, FRPM/English Learner/Foster Youth – Count are the starting point for the LCFF supplemental and concentration grant calculations. Adjustments are made to the counts certified in the 1.17 CALPADS report based on data submitted by COEs in the 1.19 CALPADS report. Students served by the COE or a county program charter that are on probation, probation referred, expelled pursuant to EC Section 48915 (a) or (c), or in juvenile court schools, are attributed to the COE. All other students are attributed to their district of residence or the county program charter.  Additional adjustments may be made as a result of audit findings reported to the CDE.

Is the calculation of the “unduplicated pupils” percentage based on annual or a multi-year average of data? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The LCFF calculation uses a three-year average based on the current year and two prior years. However, for the first year of implementation (2013–14), it will be based on one year of data only. In 2014–15 it will be based on two years of data. In the 2014–15 and 2015–16 calculations, pursuant to EC sections 2574(b)(1)(D) and 42238.02(b)(5)(D), the 2014–15 unduplicated percentage will be used in place of the 2013–14 unduplicated percentage if the 2014–15 unduplicated percentage is higher.

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Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) Income Eligibility Under the LCFF

Which students are “eligible for free or reduced-price meals” under the LCFF? (Revised 16-May-2016)

Any student who meets the federal income eligibility criteria or is deemed to be categorically eligible for FRPM under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) will be counted as FRPM-eligible. Except for directly certified and foster students identified through a statewide match, LEAs must submit the appropriate student program (SPRG) records to CALPADS in order for the students to be counted as FRPM-eligible. Based on these criteria, the following students are considered FRPM-eligible:

  • Students meeting NSLP income criteria as documented by an NSLP application form on file (code 181—free meal or 182—reduced-price meal).
  • Students identified by the LEA to meet the same household income eligibility criteria required by the NSLP as documented on an alternative household income data collection form (program code 181—free meal or 182—reduced-price meal).
  • Students categorically eligible for FRPM, including:
    • Migrant students (program code 135)
    • Homeless students (program code 191)
    • Foster students identified through a statewide match with California Department of Social Services foster data (program code not needed)
    • Students participating in the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) (program code 181—free meal)
  • Students directly certified as eligible for free meals based on the CALPADS state-administered automatic match with California’s CalFresh (formerly Food Stamp) and CalWORKs eligibility data (program code not needed).
  • Students directly certified as eligible for free meals based on a match conducted by an LEA and its county welfare department of student enrollment and CalFresh and CalWORKs eligibility data (program code 181—free meal).

It is important to note that LEAs may not collect NSLP applications for students enrolled in schools with Provision 2 or 3 status in non-base years or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) at any time. However, students enrolled in Provision 2 or 3 or CEP schools may qualify as FRPM-eligible for LCFF purposes through the direct certification process: based on their migrant, homeless, or foster status; or by a local process, such as collection of an alternative household income form to establish that the student’s household meets the income eligibility criteria required by the NSLP.

What is the timeline for determining income eligibility for free or reduced-price meals to qualify for LCFF? (Revised 08-July-2014)

Eligibility based on an NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form. To be included in the LCFF unduplicated student count, an NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form must be submitted by students to their schools between July 1 and October 31 of the school year. For example, a student who submits an application on October 31, 2014 may be included in the 2014–15 LCFF unduplicated student count, if found to be eligible for FRPM. Applications submitted between July 1 and October 31 may be processed and approved by the LEA after October 31 and students found to be eligible may be included in that year. Although students may be considered eligible for free/reduced price lunch programs in the first 30 days of a school year based on the prior year’s eligibility, students may not be coded as FRPM-eligible based on this 30-day eligibility window.

For these students to be included in the unduplicated count, LEAs must submit an open program record with a Free Meal program code of 181 or a Reduced-Price Meal program code of 182 that is open over Census Day. This means that LEAs may use a program start date that is before Census Day for applications processed after Census Day. LEAs may update CALPADS with FRPM program records until the close of the CALPADS Fall 1 amendment window, which is generally in February. (Specific dates are posted on the CALPADS Web Page.)

LEAs are required to verify a percentage of NSLP applications by November 15 of each year. If it is discovered during the income verification that a student should not have been designated as FRPM eligible, then the LEA must submit a correction to the FRPM record during the amendment period.

Eligibility based on direct certification. Students directly certified through the statewide process performed by CALPADS in July through November are included in the unduplicated student count for LCFF. (The direct certification process in CALPADS occurs on the second day of each month. The direct certification November pull is included in order to capture students directly certified in October.) CALPADS Certification Report 1.17 – FRPM English Learner Foster Youth – Count automatically includes these students. LEAs do not need to submit a Free Meal program record for these students.

Students directly certified through a local process conducted between July 1 and October 31 may be included in the unduplicated student count for LCFF. To be counted the LEA must submit a primary or short-term enrollment in CALPADS, and a Student Program (SPRG) File with a Free Meal Program record (program code 181). Both the enrollment and Free Meal program record must be open over Census Day.

Can an LEA share its FRPM data with another LEA for LCFF purposes? (Posted 06-Nov-2014)

Yes. LEAs may obtain FRPM data from other LEAs as students transfer from one LEA to another. Assembly Bill 1599 (Chapter 327, Statutes of 2014) amended EC Section 49558 (that governs the confidentiality of school meal records) to clarify that LEAs may disclose individual FRPM eligibility data with other LEAs for NSLP/meal certification purposes, and for LCFF data collections/calculations.

COEs often run special day classes at a district. The district collects FRPM data, provides meals, and collects reimbursements for those meals. The COE reports enrollment for those students in CALPADS and needs to obtain the FRPM data from the collecting district. Can the district release that information to the COE? (Posted 06-Nov-2014)

Yes. Rules about information sharing apply to school districts, COEs, and charter schools.

Can an LEA provide the actual reporting form (NSLP or alternative household income verification) to auditors? (Posted 06-Nov-2014)

Yes. LEAs (in the case of alternative household income forms) and food service departments (in the case of NSLP forms) may allow auditors access to individual forms for review, either for NSLP audits or LCFF audits. However, all documentation and information related thereto provided by the LEA staff (including any food services staff) to auditors is to be kept in strict confidence adhering to all state and federal privacy laws and is to be used solely for the purpose of determining whether a student is correctly designated as FRPM eligible.

LEAs (in the case of alternative household income forms) and food service departments (in the case of NSLP forms) have the discretion whether to allow auditors to leave the campus with the forms, make copies, or have the forms or copies e-mailed or mailed off campus. Further, auditors may be required to review the forms onsite to maintain confidentiality, even if the auditor wants an additional sample of forms and has already left the campus.

Who can an LEA, auditor, or food service personnel contact at CDE if they need further clarification on the documentation that is allowed to be released? (Posted 06-Nov-2014)

  • For questions related to LCFF funding and the alternative household income form, please contact PASE@cde.ca.gov.
  • For questions about CALPADS, please contact the CALPADS Service Desk at calpads-support@cde.ca.gov.
  • For questions related to the NSLP application, please contact your School Nutrition Program County Specialist. The SNP County Specialist list is available in the Child Nutrition Information Payment System Download Forms section entitled “Caseload SNP.” If you do not have access to CNIPS, please call 1-800-952-5609 and you will be directed to your SNP County Specialist.

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Unduplicated Pupils at Schools with Provision 2 and 3
or Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Status

How will pupils eligible to receive free and reduced-price meals in Provision 2 and 3 or CEP schools be counted for LCFF purposes? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

Under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP):

  • Schools with Provision 2 and 3 status receive reimbursements for meals served based on participation in a base year (of a four-year cycle for Provision 2; five-year cycle for Provision 3). These schools collect NSLP eligibility applications in the base year, but do not collect eligibility applications in the subsequent years the school is on Provision 2 and 3 status, except to reestablish a base year.
  • Schools participating under the CEP receive reimbursements for meals served based on the percentage of identified pupils each year (in a four-year cycle, plus grace year). Identified pupils are pupils directly certified for meals who receive CalFresh, CalWORKs, and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) benefits, and the extension of these benefits to pupils within the same household. It also includes pupils certified as foster, homeless, migrant, runaway, or participating in Head Start Programs; these pupils are deemed categorically eligible. These schools do not collect NSLP eligibility applications in the four-year cycle or in the grace year.

To be counted as eligible for free or reduced-price meals (FRPM) for purposes of the LCFF, pupils must meet income eligibility criteria for the NSLP through an approved NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form, be directly certified to receive free meals, or be categorically eligible. This means that in Provision 2/3 and CEP schools, for students who are not directly certified or categorically eligible, LEAs must determine income eligibility through an alternative household income data collection form and submit a corresponding program record in CALPADS. Identifying a pupil as income-eligible or not income-eligible in CALPADS does not affect the pupil’s ability to receive a free meal in a Provision 2/3 or CEP school.

To further reduce the burden of data collection, Education Code (EC) Section 42238.01(a) was recently amended (Chapter 327, Statutes of 2015) to provide that an LEA participating in Provision 2/3 or CEP “may establish a base year for purposes of the local control funding formula by determining the pupils at the school who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and using each pupil’s eligibility status in that base year to report eligibility for up to each of the following three school years. The school may include between base year eligibility determinations, any newly enrolled pupils who are determined to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals or any current pupils found to be newly eligible for free or reduced-price meals as identified through a local or state direct certification match or other categorical designation.” (Note: The base year established for local control funding purposes is distinct from the Provision 2/3 or CEP “base year” under the NSLP, although, as explained below, schools can establish the same year as “base years” for both purposes.)

Determining Base Year: LEAs using the option to establish an LCFF base year must collect eligibility data for all eligible pupils at least once every four years. The pupil’s eligibility status in the LCFF base year, which is either based on income data from an NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form, or through direct certification or categorical eligibility, remains the same until the LEA establishes a new LCFF base year for the school. Schools may perform the LCFF base year data collection during the same year that they establish a Provision 2/3 base year under the NSLP, in which case, NSLP applications can be used for LCFF purposes. CEP schools do not collect NSLP applications so those schools must use alternative household income data collection forms to determine pupil eligibility, even in base years.

Since pupils in Provision 2/3 and CEP schools who are identified as meeting NSLP income requirements based on an NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form in the base year retain eligibility for purposes of LCFF into subsequent non-base years, all schools must submit an FRPM program record for these pupils to CALPADS every year in order to be counted for LCFF. The application or alternative form collected in the base year can be used as the basis for the submission of the annual program record for each of the subsequent years before re-establishing a new base year.

Pupils in Provision 2/3 and CEP schools who are identified as meeting NSLP eligibility requirements based on direct certification or categorical eligibility in the base year, also retain eligibility for purposes of LCFF in subsequent non-base years, even if the pupils are not directly certified or categorically eligible in the subsequent non-base years. In order to be counted for LCFF, LEAs must submit FRPM program records to CALPADS for these pupils in each of the intervening years. For students who were categorically eligible based on their homeless or migrant status, but who are no longer homeless or migrant in subsequent non-base years, LEAs should continue to submit FRPM program records but should no longer submit homeless or migrant program records. The direct certification list or documentation of categorical eligibility collected in the base year can be used as the basis for the submission of the annual program record for each of the subsequent years before re-establishing a new base year.

Additions to Base Year: During the intervening years between base years, LEAs should collect data only from newly enrolled pupils. Since Provision 2/3 schools do not collect NSLP applications between base years and CEP schools never collect NSLP applications, LEAs can only make income eligibility determinations on newly enrolled pupils who were not directly certified or categorically eligible using alternative household income data collection forms. LEAs must submit FRPM program records to CALPADS for newly enrolled pupils meeting the income eligibility requirements, as well as for newly enrolled pupils directly certified through a local match or categorically eligible for benefits, in order to be counted for LCFF. In addition, LEAs may submit FRPM program records for currently-enrolled pupils who were not included in the base year but were later determined to be eligible through direct certification or categorical eligibility. (See “What data must be collected by Provision 2/3 and CEP schools for newly enrolled pupils in intervening years to determine eligibility for LCFF?” for further detail.)

A school’s base year designation is not submitted to the CDE and should be documented by the LEA for auditing purposes. Schools should be prepared to show auditors the original documentation that a pupil is FRPM eligible, which would be the NSLP application or household income data collection form, the direct certification list, or the documentation of categorical eligibility submitted in the base year. Pupils enrolled after the base year would have documentation from the year they were enrolled. Pupils enrolled in a school during a base year and who were not eligible for purposes of LCFF but were subsequently directly certified or determined to be categorically eligible in non-base years would have the documentation from the year they were certified or determined to be categorically eligible.

Is FRPM-eligibility data used for more than calculating LCFF? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

LCFF funding calculations are not the only reason FRPM eligibility data is collected; it is also collected in aggregate to track the academic achievement of the socioeconomically disadvantaged pupil group as defined in California’s accountability workbook approved by the SBE and submitted to the federal United States Department of Education as required by federal accountability statute. Therefore, any pupils identified as FRPM eligible are included in the schools’ socioeconomically disadvantaged accountability subgroup. FRPM data may also be used to determine funding for categorical programs such as the Prop 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act.

What information must be collected on the alternative household income data collection forms for Provision 2 and 3 schools, schools participating under the CEP, or schools that do not participate in the NSLP? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

All information collected on the NSLP eligibility application forms is not required to be collected on alternative household income data collection forms for LCFF and accountability purposes. Forms that contain the following minimum information would be considered valid documentation of FRPM eligibility:

  • Information sufficient to identify the pupil(s)
  • Information sufficient to determine that the pupil or household meets federal income eligibility criteria sufficient to qualify for either a free or reduced-priced meal under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (Public Law 113-79)
  • Certification that information is true and correct by the pupil’s adult household member

The CDE has developed several sample forms to collect income eligibility information. These forms are not designed for and should not be used to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals under the NSLP. Please note that the ranges used to determine income eligibility are updated annually. Updated Household Size and Income Eligibility data located on the California Department of Education's School Nutrition Programs Eligibility Materials Web page. Category 1 is the range for free meals and category 2 is the range for reduced-price meals.

It should be noted that the data collection requirements applying to Provision 2/3 and CEP schools also apply to schools that do not collect NSLP applications for other reasons, for example schools that do not participate in the NSLP. Please also note that only Provision 2/3 and CEP schools can establish a base year for LCFF purposes (see FAQs above) and collect data less frequently than annually; other schools must collect data every year.

What data must be collected in intervening years by Provision 2/3 and CEP schools for newly enrolled pupils transferring from another LEA to determine eligibility for LCFF? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

The pupil enrolls prior to the October Census Day:

  • If transferring from another LEA that has determined eligibility during the current school year, the new LEA can accept the supporting documentation collected by the previous LEA and use the information for Census Day reporting for the current year and in future non-base years. Only current-year eligibility determinations can be used for this purpose; eligibility determinations made by the previous LEA in prior school years cannot be carried over and used by the new LEA. 
  • If eligibility has not been determined for the current school year, the new LEA will need to determine eligibility for the pupil, either through collection of a household income data collection form or through direct certification or determination of categorical eligibility, and use the information for Census Day reporting for the current year and in future non-base years.

The pupil enrolls after the October Census Day:

  • If transferring from another LEA that has determined eligibility during the current school year, the new LEA can accept the supporting documentation collected by the previous LEA and can use the information in future non-base years without the new LEA having to re-determine eligibility. Since the pupil was not enrolled in the LEA on Census Day, the pupil would not be included in the current year Census Day count.
  • If eligibility has not been determined by the other LEA during the current school year, even though it does not impact LCFF counts for the current year, the new LEA should determine the pupil’s eligibility as soon as possible after enrollment because this information is used in the current year for accountability subgroup determinations and other reporting, and will be needed in future non-base years for LCFF.

When accepting supporting documentation from another LEA, the new LEA must ensure the documentation provided is from the current school year. Once eligibility is established by the new LEA, it may carry over into subsequent years, and eligibility for that pupil does not need to be re-determined until the school re-establishes its base year. In this case, schools should be prepared to show auditors the original documentation that designated the pupil as FRPM eligible, which would be the NSLP application, alternative household income data collection form, direct certification list or documentation of categorical eligibility sent from the prior school.

What data must be collected in intervening years by Provision 2/3 and CEP schools for pupils transferring between schools within the same LEA to determine eligibility for LCFF? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

For any pupil transferring to a Provision 2/3 or CEP school in a non-base year within the same LEA, the LEA may use the FRPM eligibility previously established within the LEA, whether eligibility was established in the current year or in prior years, as long as documentation supporting eligibility for those pupils is less than four years old. Once eligibility has been determined by the new school, it may be carried over as long as the LEA updates pupil eligibility at least once every four years.

If a family does not complete an NSLP application or alternative household income data collection form during the LCFF base year and the pupil is not directly certified or determined to be categorically eligible, can a Provision 2/3 or CEP school collect an NSLP application or household income form from that continuing family during the non-base years? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

No. If a Provision 2/3 or CEP school has established an LCFF base year, the school cannot collect NSLP applications or alternative household income data collection forms from continuing pupils during non-base years. However, pupils not deemed eligible in the LCFF base year who are later directly certified or determined to be categorically eligible during non-base years can be included in the LEA’s unduplicated pupil count and their eligibility can be carried over to non-base years until a new base year is established.

Can an LEA share FRPM or Alternative Household Income data with another LEA for LCFF purposes? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

While Education Code section 49558 previously restricted the sharing of NSLP applications between LEAs for purposes other than administering the NSLP program, a recent amendment [Assembly Bill 1599 (Chapter 327, Statutes of 2014)] to Section 49558, allows LEAs to share pupils’ names and FRPM eligibility status with other LEAs when necessary for LCFF data calculations. In addition, alternative household income data and pupils’ eligibility status, and the forms themselves, can be shared with other LEAs as necessary for LCFF calculations.   

Can the cafeteria fund be used to support administrative functions related to the alternative household income data collection process? (Updated 15-Oct-2015)

No. Federal and California State laws prohibit the school cafeteria fund from paying for functions that are not related to the NSLP. The development, distribution, receipt, review, and approval of an alternative household income data collection form, are not functions related to the NSLP; therefore, cafeteria funds cannot be used for activities related to the alternative household income data collection process.

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English Learners Under the LCFF

Which students are classified as English learners under the LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

A student is classified as an English learner for LCFF purposes if he or she is identified in CALPADS as enrolled on Census Day with an English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS) of “English learner” (EL). Please see the Auditing topic for additional information regarding documentation.

Can a student with an ELAS of “To Be Determined” (TBD) who is later determined to be an English learner be included in the LCFF unduplicated student count? (Posted 08-July-2014)

If an LEA previously submitted an ELAS of TBD for a student, and the LEA determines after Census Day (the first Wednesday in October) that the student is an English learner, the LEA may update the TBD status to “EL” with a start date that is before Census Day. If this update is done before the LEA certifies its Fall 1 data in CALPADS, then the student will be included in the LCFF unduplicated student count.

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Foster Youth Under the LCFF

Who are considered “foster youth” under the LCFF (Posted 08-July-2014)

Pursuant to recent revisions to EC Section 42238.01(b), the following children and youth are considered “foster youth” for purposes of the LCFF:

  • A child or youth who is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 300 (meaning a court has taken jurisdiction over a child and declared the child to be a dependent of the court due to the presence or risk of abuse or neglect). This includes both children who are living at home while a dependent of the court as well as children who the court has ordered to be removed into the care, custody and control of a social worker for placement outside the home.
  • A child or youth who is the subject of a petition filed under WIC Section 602 (meaning a court has taken jurisdiction over a child and declared the child to be a ward of the court due to the child’s violation of certain criminal laws) and has been ordered by a court to be removed from home pursuant to WIC Section 727 and placed in foster care as defined by WIC Section 727.4(d).
  • A youth between ages 18 and 21 who is enrolled in high school, is a non-minor dependent under the placement responsibility of child welfare, probation, or a tribal organization participating in an agreement pursuant to WIC Section 10553.1, and is participating in a transitional living case plan.

For foster youth living outside the home, does the type of out-of-home placement matter? (Posted 08-July-2014)

If a child is a foster youth as defined by EC Section 42238.01(b), where that child or youth is placed does not matter. Typical placement types include, but are not limited to, a county shelter/receiving home, court specified home, Foster Family Agency Certified Home, Foster Family Home, Group Home, Guardian with Dependency, Medical Facility, Non-Foster Care Home, Relative/NREFM (Non Related Extended Family Member) Home, Small Family Home, Supervised Independent Living Placement, or Tribe Specified Home. A foster youth as defined under LCFF may also be temporarily living in a Juvenile Hall.

Who is not considered “foster youth” under the LCFF? (Posted 08-July-2014)

  • A child or youth who is in a “voluntary placement.” Voluntary placements are not subject to a petition filed under WIC Section 300.
  • A child or youth who is living with relatives or friends and who is not a dependent of the court (i.e. is not subject to a WIC Section 300 petition).
  • A child or youth who is a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to a petition filed under WIC Section 602 who is either living at home or has been ordered to be placed in a corrective or rehabilitative facility but has not been ordered to be removed from his or her home into a foster care placement pursuant to WIC Section 727.4(d).

What is a Foster ID? (Posted 08-July-2014)

The Foster ID (also referred to as Foster Client ID or Student Foster ID) is a unique 10-digit number assigned by the Child Welfare System/Case Management System (CWS/CMS).

Which foster youth are included in the unduplicated count for purposes of calculating supplemental and concentration grants under the LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The foster youth included in the unduplicated count are those who the LEA report to the CALPADS as enrolled in a school in the LEA on Census Day (first Wednesday in October) and who have been identified as a foster youth through the statewide match or who have been identified through a local data matching process and submitted to and validated by CALPADS.

What is the statewide foster match? How does it differ from a local match? (Posted 08-July-2014)

The statewide process matches CALPADS enrollment data to data from the CWS/CMS. CALPADS reports and extracts are available so that LEAs are informed as to the students identified as foster youth from this match. Beginning in fall 2014, the foster data will be updated in CALPADS on a weekly basis so that LEAs will be able to continuously serve the appropriate population. The matches conducted so far have yielded a match rate of over 90 percent; therefore the vast majority of foster students will be identified through this statewide match.

LEAs may conduct local matches with their county welfare departments, in which student enrollment data from their student information systems is matched with data in CWS/CMS. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the CDE will communicate to county welfare departments, county offices of education, and LEAs, the categories of youth in CWS/CMS that should be used for local matching processes.

Since both the statewide match conducted between CDE and CDSS and local matches conducted between LEAs and county welfare departments use foster data from the same source system, CWS/CMS, both the statewide and local matches should yield the same results. However, due to differences in matching logic or lag time in updating data systems, a local match may sometimes identify a student as a foster student who is not identified in the statewide match.

What happens if the state match does not identify a youth who is identified as a foster youth through a local match? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

If an LEA identifies a student as a foster youth from a local match conducted with its county welfare department who is not identified from the statewide match, the LEA may want to work with its county welfare department to determine why a particular student is not identified in the statewide match. As the state match rate continues to improve, LEAs should be able to rely solely on the statewide match.

LEAs will also be provided a mechanism for submitting to CALPADS students who have not been identified through the state matching process. This mechanism will include submission of and validation of the 10-digit Foster ID or 19-digit Case ID in CALPADS. CALPADS will not use the program file for submission of foster data.

What additional information will CALPADS provide to LEAs on foster youth? (Revised 22-Oct-2014)

CALPADS will provide LEA staff with appropriate security roles the following information on foster youth:

  • Foster ID (10-digit)
  • Case Start Date
  • Case End Date
  • Case ID (19-digit)
  • Episode Start Date (the start of an out-of-home placement)
  • Episode End Date (the end of an out-of-home placement)
  • Social Worker Name and Phone Number
  • Court Appointed Educational Representative and Phone Number
  • An indication of whether the student is receiving family maintenance services (and thus is living at home)
  • County of jurisdiction
  • Whether parental rights are limited (Y/N)
  • Responsible Agency (Child Welfare or Probation)

How should LEAs account for changes in the population of foster youth throughout the year in preparing LCAPs? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

LEAs should identify services to be provided to any youth who becomes a foster youth during the school year, even though the numbers of foster youth may fluctuate. Only a portion of foster youth may be “counted” in the unduplicated student count for the LCFF or in the school’s Academic Performance Index (API) because they change schools frequently.

What foster youth are included in the API foster youth subgroup for state accountability purposes? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

A foster youth who is continuously enrolled will be included in the API foster youth subgroup. California Code of Regulations, Title 5, sections 1039.2 and 1039.3, relating to the implementation of EC Section 52052.1(a)(1), define continuously enrolled as a “student enrollment from Fall Census Day (first Wednesday in October) to the first day of testing without a gap in enrollment of more than 30 consecutive calendar days.”

What types of services may a foster youth receive from the child county social services or probation departments? (Posted 08-July-2014)

The overall goal of child social services is the reunification of children and youth with their families. Foster children and youth may go through a continuum of services or “service component types” ranging from pre-placement family maintenance to out-of-home placement to family reunification or permanent placement. The LCFF definition of foster youth includes children and youth receiving services along this continuum from the opening of the court case to its close.

The table below describes the major service component types. It will be useful for educational staff working with foster children and youth to understand where in the process a child or youth is and what services he or she is receiving from the child county social services or probation departments. The data provided in CALPADS will indicate whether a child or youth is in family maintenance; if the child is not in family maintenance, he or she is in an out-of-home placement.

Symbol CWS/CMS Service Component Type Description
FM Pre-Placement (Family Maintenance) Child/youth is living at home receiving family maintenance services aimed at preventing removal of the child.
FR Family Reunification Child/youth is in an out-of-home placement receiving services aimed at reuniting the family.
FM Post-Placement (Family Maintenance) Child/youth is in the process of being permanently reunited with his/her family following an out-of-home placement and is back living at home while the family receives services aimed at keeping the child in the home.
PP Permanent Placement (Previously referred to as “long-term foster care”) Child/youth is in an out-of-home placement permanently and services to the family have been terminated.
ST Supported Transition A nonminor dependent age 18–21 participating in a transitional independent living case plan.

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Auditing

What documentation can LEAs provide their auditors to show that a student is correctly designated as an English Learner (EL) in CALPADS? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

If the student is designated as an EL, then LEAs can provide the following:

  • A copy of the parent/guardian notification letter that states the student is initially designated as an EL or is a continuing EL, and a copy of the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) individual Student Performance Level Report that indicates the student’s overall performance and domain scores do not meet the CELDT criterion for English proficiency. Please refer to the CELDT Information Guide for examples of the individual student reports; refer to the section titled “Guide to the Student Performance Level Report.” If a continuing student is EL on Census Day, but subsequently takes the CELDT test and is re-designated as English proficient, the LEA does not need to change the program record since the student was appropriately designated as EL on Census Day.
  • If the results on the Student Performance Level Report indicate that the student has met the CELDT criterion for English proficiency, then the LEA should provide the auditor its Policy/Procedures for Reclassification and any documentation that was used to determine the student’s EL status consistent with the LEA policy. For more information on reclassification, refer to the CELDT Information Guide section titled “Guidelines for Reclassification.”

What documentation can LEAs provide auditors to show that a student is correctly designated as eligible for free or reduced-price meals (FRPM) in CALPADS? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

To be correctly designated as FRPM eligible, a student must be part of a household that meets income eligibility requirements or the student must be categorically eligible based on his or her status as a foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway child or on the fact that the student’s household participates in the CalFresh, CalWORKs or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation (FDPIR) programs. Students who are members of households that receive CalFresh and/or CalWORKs benefits should have been directly certified to receive FRPM benefits through an automatic state data match, and thus should be indicated in CALPADS as “directly certified” to receive benefits.

Under the Audit Guide section for Unduplicated Local Control Funding Formula Pupil Counts, auditors do not need to review documentation for those students who are indicated in CALPADS as (1) “directly certified” to receive FRPM benefits or (2) a foster, homeless, migrant, or runaway child. For other students, an LEA can prove that a student is correctly designated FRPM eligible by providing documentation to support the designation. Supporting documentation may include:

  • A copy of a student’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP) application.
  • A copy of an LEA’s alternative household income eligibility form which demonstrates that a student is a member of a household that meets NSLP income eligibility requirements.
  • Any other documentation which demonstrates that the student is categorically eligible to receive benefits under the NSLP, such as (1) documentation that the student is a foster, homeless, migrant or runaway child or (2) direct certification lists obtained from the county welfare department or county office of education.

Please note that, to reduce the burden of data collection, schools participating in Provision 2 or 3 or the Community Eligibility Program (CEP) may establish a “base year” for LCFF purposes (this is different from the base year under the NSLP). Schools using this option must collect household income data for all eligible students at least once every four years, and collect income data for every newly enrolled student in the intervening years. Schools may perform the LCFF base year data collection during the same year that they establish a new base year under the NSLP. Schools will need to submit data for identified students to CALPADS every year. Auditors will review CALPADS data for students in these schools just as they review CALPADS data at other schools, so schools should be prepared to show auditors the original documentation that a student is FRPM eligible, which may be up to three years old.

All documentation and related information provided by LEA staff (including any food services staff) to auditors is to be kept in strict confidence adhering to all state and federal privacy laws and is to be used solely for the purpose of determining whether a student is correctly designated as FRPM eligible.

See the “Free and Reduced Price-Meal (FRPM) Income Eligibility under the LCFF” topic for additional information about auditors’ access to records.

Are any changes to the Audit Guide anticipated for LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Yes. LCFF related audit procedures have been added to the Audit Guide. The specific procedures can be found under Audit Guide on the Education Audit Appeals Panel Web site External link opens in new window or tab..

Below is a summary of the topics by fiscal year.

Fiscal Year 2015-16

  • Unduplicated Pupil Count
  • K-3 Grade Span Adjustment
  • Local Control and Accountability Plan
  • Transportation Maintenance of Effort

Fiscal Year 2014-15

  • Unduplicated Pupil Count
  • K-3 Grade Span Adjustment
  • Local Control and Accountability Plan
  • Transportation Maintenance of Effort
  • Regional Occupational Centers or Program Maintenance of Effort
  • Adult Education Maintenance of Effort

Fiscal Year 2013-14

  • Unduplicated Pupil Count
  • Local Control Funding Formula Certification

What should an LEA do if there were Unduplicated Pupil Counts that were misreported? (See the “Unduplicated Pupils and California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System” topic for more information on Unduplicated Pupil Counts) (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

If an LEA has misreported unduplicated pupil counts a correction will need to be made in the Principal Apportionment Data Collection Software for the appropriate fiscal year. The LEA will complete the School District, Charter School, or COE (depending on the type of LEA) Audit Adjustments to CALPADS Data entry screen in the Principal Apportionment Data Collection Software in Annual mode. The LEA will enter the net adjustment to the enrollment or unduplicated pupil count in the appropriate column, according to the audit findings. If the adjustment is not the result of an audit finding, an auditor’s letter of concurrence will need to be submitted as substantiation.  Additional information on how to report an adjustment as well as the software is available at the Principal Apportionment Data Collection Web page by selecting the appropriate fiscal year.

Will a CALPADS Audit Adjustment correction submitted through the Principal Apportionment Data Collection Software affect other funding or data files based on enrollment, free and reduced priced meals (FRPM), English Learner (EL), or Foster status? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

The adjustments will only affect the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Unduplicated Pupil Percentage (UPP) calculation(s) and will not be used to modify previously certified CALPADS data for any other purpose. The UPP is used in the calculation of supplemental and concentration grants in the LCFF Target Entitlement.

How do auditors audit Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) expenditures when LEAs don’t account for their base, supplemental, and concentration grant funds separately in the general ledger (GL)? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

When auditing LCAP expenditures, auditors should begin by selecting an action or service from the LCAP that the LEA has identified as having expenditures, rather than beginning with the GL. LCAP expenditures may not be neatly identified under specific categories in the GL. The LEA will have to provide information on where to find sample expenditures for a particular action or service.

For example, an LEA may improve services by adding five days to the school year. Expenditures for that action could be found throughout the entire general ledger; perhaps under teacher salaries, custodial salaries, transportation costs, heating and air conditioning cost, etc.  In another example, an LEA may hire ten tutors to help targeted students learn English. Expenditures for that action might be found in one place in the GL. Each LEA makes its own decision on how to track LCAP expenditures, so the LEA will need to communicate with the auditor when the auditor is performing this audit step.

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Categorical Programs

Which categorical programs were eliminated with the enactment of LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The LCFF legislation eliminated most state categorical funding streams. Categorical funding received in 2012–13 from the programs listed in Figure 1 below form the basis for determining an LEA’s floor during the LCFF phase-in period. These amounts reflect any basic aid fair share reduction for a school district. More information on the LCFF transition calculations, including floor funding, can be found in the LCFF Transition Calculation funding exhibits and exhibit reference guides on the Principal Apportionment page for each fiscal year.

Except for the Home-to-School Transportation program, Small School Bus Replacement Program, and the Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant, categorical program amounts included in the 2012–13 funding level calculation will not be separately identifiable funding streams in the LCFF target, nor do their associated compliance requirements remain, except as specified for Home-to-School Transportation. These programs were identified initially only as a means to develop an aggregate funding amount for use in LCFF transition calculations. See individual topics in the LCFF FAQ’s for more information on some of these programs.

Figure 1: 2012–13 Categorical Programs Used in the LCFF Calculations
Program 2012–13 Budget Item
Administrator Training Program 6110-144-0001
Adult Education 6110-156-0001
Alternative Certification Programs (Commission on Teacher Credentialing) 6360-101-0001
Arts and Music Block Grant 6110-265-0001
Bilingual Teacher Training Assistance 6110-193-0001
California Association of Student Councils 6110-242-0001
California High School Exit Examination Intensive Instruction 6110-204-0001
California School Age Families Education (Cal-SAFE) Program 6110-198-0001
Categorical Programs for New Charter Schools 6110-212-0001
Center for Civic Education 6110-208-0001
Certificated Staff Mentoring 6110-267-0001
Charter School Categorical Block Grant 6110-211-0001
Class-Size Reduction, Grade 9 6110-232-0001
Class-Size Reduction, Kindergarten-Grade 3 SB 1016 (Chapter 38, Statutes of 2012), Section 91
Community Based English Tutoring 6110-227-0001
Community Day School Additional Funding for Mandatory Expelled Pupils Education Code, Section 48915(c)
Community Day Schools 6110-190-0001
County Office Oversight, Williams Audits 6110-266-0001
County Offices of Education (COE) Fiscal Oversight 6110-107-0001
Deferred Maintenance 6110-188-0001
Economic Impact Aid (EIA) 6110-128-0001
Education Technology 6110-181-0001
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) 6110-124-0001
Instructional Materials Funding Realignment 6110-189-0001
International Baccalaureate/Advanced Placement Fee Reimbursement 6110-240-0001
Mathematics and Reading Professional Development 6110-137-0001
Middle and High School Supplemental Counseling 6110-108-0001
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification Incentive Program 6110-195-0001
Oral Health Assessments 6110-268-0001
Peer Assistance and Review 6110-193-0001
Physical Education Teacher Incentive Grants 6110-260-0001
Professional Development Block Grant 6110-245-0001
Pupil Retention Block Grant 6110-243-0001
Pupil Transportation 6110-111-0001
Reader Services for Blind Teachers 6110-193-0001
Regional Occupational Centers and Programs 6110-105-0001
School and Library Improvement Block Grant 6110-247-0001
School Safety Block Grant 6110-228-0001
School Safety Consolidated Competitive Grant, School Community Violence Prevention 6110-248-0001
Supplemental Instruction 6110-104-0001
Targeted Instructional Improvement Block Grant 6110-246-0001
Teacher Credentialing Block Grant, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment 6110-244-0001
Teacher Dismissal Apportionments (State Controller's Office) 6110-209-0001

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Necessary Small Schools

Are there any changes to funding of necessary small schools (NSSs)? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The funding calculations for NSSs under the LCFF are similar to calculations under previously existing law, in that school districts have the option of selecting NSS funding in lieu of the adjusted grade span base grant funding for eligible schools. However, the LCFF legislation did update the eligibility criteria for NSS funding. For example, under the LCFF legislation, elementary schools in one-school school districts are required to meet distance requirements (EC Section 42283) in order to qualify for NSS funding. All NSS statutes are contained in EC Section 42280 through 42286. A necessary small high school that previously achieved NSS status as the only high school in a unified district may continue to qualify for NSS, subject to a sunset date, if the district has 50 or fewer pupils per square mile of district territory.

How will NSS funding be calculated during LCFF Transition period? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

Beginning with 2013–14 and until full implementation of LCFF, there will be two calculations for NSS school districts, the School District NSS Allowance for the LCFF Target and the School District NSS Allowance for the LCFF Floor. Detailed descriptions of the calculations and data sources for these exhibits are contained in the Exhibit Reference Guide, available in the applicable fiscal year section on the Principal Apportionment Web page. Actual funding will be determined in accordance with LCFF Transition calculations, summarized in the LCFF Funding section of the LCFF Frequently Asked Questions and described in detail in the Exhibit Reference Guides.

Is additional funding available for districts subject to the “hold harmless” provisions? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

If a school district qualified for NSS funding in 2012–13, the amount of NSS funding the school district received in 2012–13 will be included in its minimum state aid calculation, which may provide additional state funding if the amount calculated for minimum state aid exceeds the net state aid amount calculated under the LCFF. This provision is applicable to all school districts with 2012-13 NSS allowances, regardless of current year NSS eligibility. (EC Section 42238.03(e)).

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Home-to-School Transportation

Is Home-to-School Transportation included in the LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The amount of Home to School Transportation (HTS) funding received in 2012-13, net of any Control Section 12.42 reduction, is included in both the school district and county office of education LCFF floor and the LCFF target entitlement calculations. For purposes of LCFF and these frequently asked questions, HTS includes entitlements for Home to School, Severely Disabled or Orthopedically Impaired and the Small District and COE Bus Replacement Program.

Does an LEA need to continue to spend LCFF funds on Home-to-School Transportation? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Yes, there is a maintenance of effort requirement for home-to-school transportation. LEAs must spend at least as much of their transportation funding on transportation as they spent in 2012–13, per EC sections 2575 (k)(1) and 42238.03 (a)(6). Specifically, EC Section 42238.03 (a)(6) states, in part:

“…of the funds a school district receives for home-to-school transportation programs the school district shall expend, pursuant to former Article 2 (commencing with Section 39820) of Chapter 1 of Part 23.5, former Article 10 (commencing with Section 41850) of Chapter 5, and the Small School District Transportation program, as set forth in former Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 42290) of Chapter 7 of Part 24 of Division 3 of Title 2, as those articles read on January 1, 2013, no less for those programs than the amount of funds the school district expended for home-to-school transportation in the 2012–13 fiscal year.”

The amount of “funds a school district receives” is the amount that the LEAs received in 2013–14; subsequent to 2013-14, this amount is flat-funded in both the floor and target entitlements (unless the amount is augmented in 2015-16 by a joint powers agency (JPA) or a county office of education; see below for more information).

The maintenance of effort (MOE) is the lesser of (1) the actual 2012–13 expenditures or (2) the amount received in 2013–14. Beginning in 2015-16, the amount received should be increased to reflect any home-to school entitlement increase made available pursuant to Assembly Bill 104 (Chapter 13, Statutes of 2015). As reference, the amount received in 2013–14 as the Transportation add-on equals the total 2012–13 Pupil Transportation entitlement (including Home to School, Severely Disabled or Orthopedically Impaired and Small District and COE Bus Replacement) less the Control Section 12.42 reduction. The amount received each year can be seen on Line A-8 of the 2012-13 Categorical Program Entitlements Subsumed into LCFF funding exhibit on the Principal Apportionment web page.

The legislation also required LEAs that passed through funds in 2012–13 to transportation JPAs to continue to pass through those funds in the 2013–14 and 2014–15 fiscal years. In addition, JPAs that received transportation funds directly in the 2012–13 fiscal year continued to receive those funds directly for the 2013–14 and 2014–15 fiscal years. Beginning in 2015-16, HTS funds allocated to JPAs during 2013-14 and 2014-15 are added to individual LEA LCFF funding calculations.

Why did my district’s Home-to-School Transportation funding go up in 2015-16 and do I have an MOE requirement to spend those funds on transportation? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

Assembly Bill 104 (Chapter 13, Statutes of 2015) allows a JPA to transfer HTS entitlements that went directly to the JPA in 2013-14 and 2014-15, to its member districts. The bill also transferred HTS entitlements from the Los Angeles County Office of Education to certain school districts in Los Angeles County. These additional funds should be included in each receiving district’s MOE requirement beginning in 2015-16, as explained above.

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Regional Occupational Centers/Programs and Adult Education

Are Regional Occupational Center/Program (ROC/P) and Adult Education funds included in the LCFF? (Revised 18-Nov-2014)

The ROC/P and Adult Education funding streams were eliminated along with the funding streams for many other categorical programs in the implementation of LCFF. However, these two programs have maintenance-of-effort requirements (see next question).

Does an LEA need to continue to spend LCFF funds on ROC/Ps and adult education? (Revised 15-May-2015)

The LCFF legislation imposes a maintenance-of-effort requirement on ROC/P and adult education. Please see EC sections 2575(k)(2) and 42238.03(a)(7). The language from the latter section is as follows:

“For the 2013–14 and 2014–15 fiscal years only, of the funds a school district receives for purposes of regional occupational centers or programs, or adult education, the school district shall expend no less than the amount of funds the school district expended for purposes of regional occupational centers or programs, or adult education, respectively, in the 2012–13 fiscal year.”

The CDE is interpreting this language as a requirement to maintain the level of 2012–13 expenditures that were paid with state funds, up to the amount available from the applicable budget items (6110-105-0001 and 6110-156-0001, plus related deferral funding) for fiscal years 2013–14 and 2014–15. This requirement would not include expenditures supported by federal funds, adult education fees, or other restricted funding sources. Some basic aid districts may have had a fair share offset to their 2012-13 apportionment. The amount of funds received for purposes of the maintenance of effort requirement is the amount before any fair share reductions.

Please note that the legislation also requires LEAs that passed through funds in 2012–13 to ROC/P Joint Powers Agencies (JPAs) continue to pass through funds to those agencies for two years 2013-14 and 2014-15.

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Economic Impact Aid

Will LCFF funding include an amount equal to what the LEA previously received as Economic Impact Aid (EIA) funds? What requirements, if any, apply to these funds? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

During the LCFF phase-in period beginning in the 2013-14 fiscal year, EIA is one of the programs for which the amount of funds received in 2012-13 is included in the LCFF floor entitlement. However, the portion of LCFF funding attributable to 2012–13 EIA funding amounts will not be separately identified and will not be subject to EIA spending requirements.

Can EIA carryover funds be used for any educational purpose? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

No, funds allocated for EIA must be used as originally purposed for English learners and educationally disadvantaged youth. The categorical intent continues to be in effect for EIA program funds allocated in the 2012-13 fiscal year and prior, pursuant to EC sections 54000 et seq. and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 4200 External link opens in new window or tab..

Are the data reported in the Consolidated Application Reporting System and used in EIA allocation formulas now irrelevant under LCFF? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

No. Any current EIA funds carried forward from the 2012-13 fiscal year and prior, will remain subject to the original requirements for the life of those funds.

Will the CDE’s 2015-16 Federal Program Monitoring (FPM) process still apply compliance standards to LEAs carrying forward unspent EIA funds? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Yes, FPM will continue to monitor the use of EIA program funds carried over from the 2012-13 fiscal year and prior, until all EIA monies have been expended.

Was the new Web posting requirement of SB 754 eliminated? (Revised 18-Nov-2014)

No, the requirement to post EIA funding data is still in effect under current law EC Section 54029.

If a district has EIA carryover and distributes to school sites as required, do those sites in receipt of EIA need to continue with their English Learner Advisory Committees (ELACs)?

As long as EIA funds continue to be carried over, the associated requirements will continue to exist, including requirements for ELACs.

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Parent and Community Engagement

Should we include parent groups in conversation regarding expenditures associated with funding increases? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Statute requires the inclusion of parents, including parents or legal guardians of targeted disadvantaged pupils in the planning and implementation of the LCFF. School districts need not establish new parent advisory groups if the LEA has previously existing groups that satisfy the new requirements.

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LCFF Funding for County Office of Education (COE) Schools

How are COEs funded under the LCFF Target? (Revised 04-Apr-2016)

The COE LCFF Target consists of a COE operations grant for countywide oversight activities and an alternative education grant for instructional services. 

The COE operations grant is based on (1) a minimum grant per county, (2) the number of school districts in the county, and (3) the average daily attendance (ADA) within the county attributable to school districts and charter schools.

In accordance with EC 2574(c)(4), the alternative education grant supports the COE’s instructional activities for the following:

  • Students on probation, probation referred, or expelled pursuant to EC 48915 (a) or (c). In addition to the base grant, COEs receive a supplemental grant equal to 35 percent of the base grant for targeted disadvantaged students and a concentration grant equal to 35 percent of the base grant for targeted disadvantaged students exceeding 50 percent of enrollment.
  • Students attending juvenile court schools. Additionally, all juvenile court school students are deemed to be eligible for the supplemental and concentration grants provided for targeted disadvantaged students. The supplemental grant is equal to 35 percent of the base grant, and the concentration grant is equal to 17.5 percent of the base grant.

COE LCFF Target funding rates for the current fiscal year are available at the Funding Rates and Information Web page.

How are other pupils that are served by COEs, but do not meet the criteria for the Alternative Education Grant, funded? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

Funding for these students is allocated to their school district of residence.

Additional information about how the funding for these students is calculated under LCFF, is available at the Frequently Asked Questions Web page.

 How is a COE’s LCFF Transition Entitlement determined? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

If a COE’s LCFF Target calculated for the 2013-14 fiscal year was below the COE’s funding level under the former revenue limit and categorical system, the COE’s LCFF Transition Entitlement will be based on 2012-13 fiscal year funding levels, portions of which will be adjusted for current year ADA.  These COEs are known as “hold harmless COEs”. For all other COEs, the LCFF Transition Entitlement will be equal to the COE’s calculated LCFF Target.

Have all COEs reached their LCFF funding Target? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

Yes, as of the 2014-15 fiscal year, all 58 COEs are now funded at or above (hold harmless) their calculated LCFF Target, and no more LCFF gap funding is needed. Gap funding for COE LCFF implementation was provided in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to bring any COE formerly below its funding target up to the LCFF Target.

What is the LCFF “hold harmless” provision? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

The hold harmless provisions of LCFF guarantee that no COE loses funding due to LCFF. Therefore, some COEs are “hold harmless” and receive an LCFF Transition Entitlement based on their 12-13 fiscal year funding. These COEs will continue to be funded above their LCFF Target until the LCFF Target is greater than the hold harmless funding.

Additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this topic are available on the COE FAQ page.

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Charter Schools

Does Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) apply to charter schools? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

Yes. Charter schools receive funding pursuant to the LCFF and must comply with the applicable LCFF provisions. Resources for charter schools, including resources related to LCFF, can be viewed on CDE’s Charter Schools Division webpage.

Must a charter school complete a Local Control and Accountability Plan and Annual Update (LCAP)? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

Yes, all charter schools must complete an LCAP and annual update, using the Local Control and Accountability Plan and Annual Update template adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE), as stated in Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 15497.5. There are no waivers or exemptions to this requirement. See citations on the LCFF main Web page .

Must a charter school’s adopted LCAP be a three-year plan? (Posted 27-Jul-2015)

The LCAP instructions note that charter schools may adjust the goals table in Section 2 of the LCAP template to align to the term of their budget that is submitted to their authorizer pursuant to EC Section 47604.33. The term of the charter school’s budget may be one or more years as set forth in the petition or the charter school’s Memorandum of Understanding with its authorizer.

How does the content of a charter school’s LCAP differ from the charter petition? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

A charter school’s LCAP is a separate document from the charter petition. Both the charter petition and LCAP must describe goals and specific actions to achieve those goals, as well as measurable pupil outcomes, for all pupils and each subgroup of pupils identified in EC Section 52052, including pupils with disabilities, for each of the state priorities that apply to the grade levels served and the nature of the charter school program. [EC Section 47606.5(a)]. However, the  charter LCAP must also include additional information regarding goals, actions and services, including: budgeted expenditures; identification of pupils to be served within a scope of services, including services for unduplicated pupils that will benefit from an additional service or action above what is provided to all pupils; and identification of services being funded on a charterwide basis, with a description of how those services are principally directed towards, and effective in, meeting the charter’s goals for unduplicated pupils in the priority areas. In addition, the LCAP annual update must include actual annual measurable outcomes; estimated actual annual expenditures; and a statement of changes in goals, actions, services, and expenditures to be made as a result of the annual review of past progress.

Does the charter school authorizer approve the charter school’s LCAP? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

No. The charter school governing body adopts the LCAP and annual update. Pursuant to EC Section 47604.33, a charter school is required to submit its LCAP and annual update to its chartering authority and the county superintendent of schools. Statute does not require the authorizer to approve the LCAP and annual update.

May a charter school make changes to its Local Control and Accountability Plan and Annual Update (LCAP) subsequent to adoption by the charter school’s governing body? (Posted 09-Dec-2015)

Yes: During the period that the LCAP is in effect, which is after it has been approved by the charter school’s governing body, the governing body may adopt revisions if it follow the same process used for adopting the LCAP initially. This process includes consultation with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents and pupils. Any revisions must be adopted by the school’s governing body at a public meeting.

What is the responsibility of the charter school authorizer as it relates to the LCAP? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

A charter school’s chartering authority must ensure that the charter school has complied with all reports required of charter schools by law, including the LCAP and annual update (Education Code Section 47604.32; Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 15497.5).

Are there specific timelines to which the charter school must adhere in adopting its LCAP and annual update? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

Pursuant to EC sections 47606.5, 47604.33, and Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 15497.5, on or before July 1 of each year, a charter school must complete an LCAP and annual update using the LCAP template adopted pursuant to EC Section 52064.

Because the charter school authorizer does not approve a charter LCAP, the timeline identified in statute to request clarification in writing by August 15 from school districts or county superintendents of schools, or to approve the LCAP by October 8, does not apply to charter schools’ LCAPs or annual updates.

However, as is the case with charter school budgets and audits, a charter school must prepare and submit the LCAP and annual update to the chartering authority and the county superintendent of schools by July 1 of each year pursuant to EC Section 47604.33.

When does a new charter school’s governing body have to adopt its initial LCAP? (Posted 27-Jul-2015)

The law is not explicit as to when a charter school must adopt its initial LCAP. As stated in the fourth Charter Schools FAQ [How does the content of a charter school’s LCAP differ from the charter petition?], a charter’s petition must describe goals and specific actions to achieve those goals as well as measurable pupil outcomes, for all pupils and each subgroup of pupils identified in EC Section 52052, including pupils with disabilities, for each of the state priorities that apply to the grade levels served and the nature of the charter school program. [EC Section 47606.5(a)].  A charter must also adopt an LCAP, using the SBE-approved template, which requires additional information regarding goals, actions and services, and expenditures, as described in the fourth Charter Schools FAQ. In addition, a charter must develop its LCAP with stakeholder input as described in the Charter Schools FAQ [Does the charter school governing body need to hold a public hearing to adopt the LCAP and annual update?] . A charter’s pupil populations and stakeholder community may not be fully identified until the charter enrolls students and begins operations. However, based upon the charter petition and population intended to be served, a charter preparing to enroll pupils will have available to it the additional information required to be set forth in its LCAP, and be able to identify some stakeholders for consultation. The additional information required in the LCAP is important to stakeholders’ understanding of a charter school’s planned operation. Accordingly, a charter school must adopt its LCAP, using the approved template, by:  July 1 of its first operational year; or, the date the petition is approved, if it is approved after July 1 and the charter becomes operational in the same year in which the petition is approved. If the charter determines after it becomes operational that revisions to the LCAP are warranted, the initial LCAP may be revised and adopted, with stakeholder engagement.

Do charter schools need to address the LCFF state priorities in their petitions? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

Yes. Pursuant to EC sections 47605 and 47605.6, charter schools that file an initial charter petition or a renewal petition shall incorporate into the charter petition the required state priorities identified in EC Section 52060. EC sections 47605 and 47605.6 require a charter petition to include a description of the annual goals and actions in the eight state priority areas in EC Section 52060 that apply to the grade levels served and the nature of the charter school’s program including modifications to reflect only the statutory requirements explicitly applicable to charter schools in the Education Code.

Is an LCAP considered a material revision to the charter petition? (Updated 27-Jul-2015)

The statute is silent; however, the LCAP template adopted by the SBE is a separate document from the charter petition and therefore is not automatically considered a material revision to the charter petition. However, if in completing an LCAP, the charter school or its authorizer determines that changes to the charter petition are necessary, then a material revision may be needed.

Does the charter school governing body need to hold a public hearing to adopt the LCAP and annual update? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

The statute is silent; however, charter schools are required to consult with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils in developing the annual update [EC 47606.5(c)]. Charter schools are encouraged to follow a process similar to that required for a school district, which is to hold an initial public hearing to solicit recommendations and comments on the LCAP and annual update, followed by a subsequent public meeting for adoption of the plan, before submitting the adopted LCAP to the charter authorizer.

May a charter school operator with numerous schools prepare a single LCAP for all of its schools? (Updated 27-Jul-2015)

No. The charter school or its operator must prepare a separate LCAP for each charter school that has a separate petition.

Does a charter school need to have a school site council to review the LCAP and annual update? (Updated 27-Jul-2015)

No, a charter school is not required to establish a site council to comply with the requirement to consult with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils in developing its LCAP and annual update. [EC Section 47606.5]. Consultation with an existing site council may satisfy this requirement if the site council includes membership that meets the requirements of EC Section 47606.5.

Do the grade span adjustment requirements in EC Section 42238.02(d)(3)(B) apply to charter schools? (Updated 27-Jul-2015)

No. EC Section 42238.02(d)(3)(B) applies specifically to school districts.

Where is the LCAP template available? (Revised 27-Jul-2015)

A copy of the SBE approved template may be downloaded (DOC) from the CDE’s Web site.

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K–3 Grade Span Adjustment

What are the conditions for receiving the kindergarten through grade three (K–3) grade span adjustment (GSA)? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

As a condition of receiving the K–3 GSA, which is equal to 10.4 percent of the K–3 base grant, school districts must meet one of the following conditions:

  • If a school site’s average K–3 class enrollment was more than 24 pupils in the 2012-13 fiscal year, make progress toward maintaining, at that school site, an average K–3 class enrollment of not more than 24 pupils.
  • If a school site’s average K–3 class enrollment was 24 pupils or less in the 2012-13 fiscal year, maintain, at that school site, an average K–3 class enrollment of not more than 24 pupils.
  • Agree to a collectively bargained alternative to the statutory K–3 GSA requirements.

For additional information relating to the class size requirements for the K–3 GSA, refer to Education Code Section 42238.02(d) External link opens in new window or tab. and Title 5 California Code of Regulations Section 15498 External link opens in new window or tab..

How should a school district determine the required K–3 average class enrollment for each school site? (Revised 04-Apr-2016)

If a school site’s average K–3 class enrollment was 24 pupils or less in the 2012–13 fiscal year, the district must maintain, at that school site, an average K–3 class enrollment of not more than 24 pupils, unless a collectively bargained alternative ratio is agreed to by the school district.

If a school site’s average K–3 class enrollment was more than 24 pupils in 2012–13, the required average class enrollment is determined as follows, unless a collectively bargained alternative ratio is agreed to by the school district:

  1. Determine the prior year average K–3 class enrollment at the school site. In 2013–14, this will be the 2012–13 actual level. In subsequent years, this will be the result of the calculation in Step 4 for the prior year.
  2. Subtract 24 from Step 1.
  3. Multiply the result of Step 2 by the percentage of gap funding provided in the current fiscal year.

    Gap Funding Percentages

    Fiscal Year Estimated by DOF
    (as of May Revise)
    Actual Certified by CDE
    (as of P-2 Certification)
    2013–14 * 12.00%
    2014–15 28.06% 30.16%
    2015–16 53.08% Available after 2015–16
    P-2 Apportionment

    * LCFF was enacted as part of the 2013–14 budget package


    The school district may use either the amount estimated by the DOF as of the May Revise or the actual CDE certified percentage as of the P-2 certification.

  4. Subtract the result of the calculation in Step 3 from the prior year average K–3 class enrollment in Step 1, to determine the maximum average K–3 class enrollment at the school site in the current year.

More detailed information on how to calculate average class enrollment and related program information can be found on the LCFF K–3 GSA final regulations (DOC).

If the Actual percentage is lower than what was Estimated at May Revision, can I use that percentage to determine progress? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

Yes, school districts can use either the Estimated or Actual funding gap percentage, and can change which percentage is used each year when determining progress.

Must every K–3 classroom at a school site be at the specified average K–3 class enrollment or below? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

No. An individual classroom may be higher or lower than the specified average so long as the average class enrollment of all K–3 classrooms at the school site is at, or below the specified average K–3 class enrollment.

When may school districts use a collectively bargained alternative to an average K–3 class enrollment of not more than 24? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

A school district may use this option when the district has collectively bargained an alternative annual average K–3 class enrollment for each school site in contemplation of or subsequent to enactment of EC Section 42238.02.  A school district can demonstrate that it agreed to an alternative in different ways. For example, the school district could enter into a new collective bargaining agreement, renegotiate an existing collective bargaining agreement, or mutually agree with its local union that an existing collective bargaining agreement contains an alternative annual average class enrollment for each school site. District legal counsel should be consulted as appropriate.

Do charter schools need to progress toward or maintain an average K–3 class enrollment of 24 to receive the K–3 GSA funding? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

No. Pursuant to EC Section 42238.02(d)(3)(C) only “school districts” must make progress towards average K–3 class enrollment of 24 at each school site.

May a districtwide average be used instead of a school site average? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

No. Statute only allows for a school site average.

May the requirements be waived by the Superintendent or the SBE if a school district determines that exceeding the school district’s required average K–3 class enrollment at a particular school site is in the best interest of a student or students? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

This section of law may not be waived by the Superintendent or the SBE. Please note that school districts may collectively bargain an alternative.

Will school districts need to provide a report similar to the J-7 CSR (class-size reduction) report to get grade-span adjustment funds? (Posted 10-Mar-2014)

No. The K-3 GSA funds will automatically be included in the districts’ principal apportionment funding. However, districts will be required to show their independent auditors either 1) their collectively bargained alternative, or 2) their calculations showing that the K-3 GSA requirements were met. If the K-3 GSA requirements were not met, then the auditor will issue an audit finding disallowing the K-3 GSA add-on funding, and the funding will be adjusted in the district’s next principal apportionment certification.

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California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

What is the Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE)? (Posted 14-May-2014)

The CCEE (EC Section 52074) will provide advice and assistance to LEAs (charter schools, school districts, and county offices of education) in achieving the goals set forth in the LCAPs.

What is the role of the CCEE fiscal agent? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The Superintendent apportions funds appropriated for the operation of the CCEE to the fiscal agent. Riverside County Office of Education is the fiscal agent and is responsible for maintaining accurate, current, and complete records regarding operation of the CCEE, in accordance with all fiscal reporting and auditing standards required by state law and the CDE.

What is the composition of the CCEE governing board? (Posted 14-May-2014)

The CCEE governing board consists of the following five members:

  1. The Superintendent or his or her designee
  2. The president of the state board or his or her designee
  3. A county superintendent of schools appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules
  4. A teacher appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly
  5. A superintendent of a school district appointed by the Governor

What is the role of the CCEE governing board? (Posted 14-May-2014)

The CCEE board shall govern the CCEE and direct the fiscal agent to contract with individuals, LEAs, or organizations with the expertise, experience, and a record of success that includes but is not limited to the following areas:

  1. State priorities as described in subdivision (d) of EC Section 52060
  2. Improving the quality of teaching
  3. Improving the quality of school district and schoolsite leadership
  4. Successfully addressing the needs of special pupil populations, including, but not limited to, English learners, pupils eligible to receive a free or reduced-priced meal, pupils in foster care, and individuals with exceptional needs

How will the adoption and use of the evaluation rubric support the work of the CCEE? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

The SBE shall adopt evaluation rubrics on or before October 1, 2016. The evaluation rubrics will support the following purposes:

  1. To assist LEAs with the evaluation of strengths and weaknesses that require improvement
  2. To assist county superintendents in identifying school districts and charter schools in need of technical assistance pursuant to EC sections 52071 and 47607.3
  3. To assist the Superintendent in identifying school districts in need of intervention pursuant to EC Section 52072. The CCEE will provide advice and assistance in achieving the goals that are identified in an LEA’s LCAP. The results of the evaluation rubric may inform the work of the CCEE

Where can I find more information about the CCEE? (Posted 04-Dec-2015)

Information, such as board agendas and minutes, are available on the CCEE website External link opens in new window or tab..

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Other

Do LEAs need to continue to submit the Consolidated Application?

The Consolidated Application will still be required as a condition of receiving certain federal grants. Please also see the Economic Impact Aid topic.

Do LEAs still have the option to reduce the school year by up to five days of instruction or the equivalent number of instructional minutes without incurring penalties? (Revised 04-Dec-2015)

No. The flexibility to reduce five days from the school year sunset on June 30, 2015 (EC Section 46201.2). Beginning in the 2015-16 school year all LEAs must restore their school year to previous statutory levels.

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Contact Information

For all LCFF fiscal questions, contact the Office of Principal Apportionment and Special Education at PASE@cde.ca.gov. For all LCFF program questions, contact the Local Agency Systems Support Office at LCFF@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Local Agency Systems Support Office | LCFF@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 16, 2016

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