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Local Educational Agency Plan

Required by all local educational agencies (LEAs) in California that receive funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.

Update on Local Educational Agency Plans
Requirements for New and Reauthorized Direct-Funded Charter Schools Seeking Federal Funds Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
State Board of Education- Approved Local Educational Agency Plans | Local Educational Agency Plan Templates and Guidance

While the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 has been reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015, most of the provisions of the ESSA will not take effect until the 2017–18 school year. The Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plan process remains the same at this time. This Web page will be updated as the ESSA LEA Plan process becomes available. Visit the ESSA Web page for information regarding California's plan to implement the federal ESSA.

The ESEA provides federal funding that may be available to LEAs (defined as county offices of education, districts, and direct-funded charter schools) for a variety of programs. California Department of Education (CDE) program staff review LEA Plans for compliance with the requirements of ESEA before recommending approval to the State Board of Education (SBE).

ESEA Section 1112(e)(2) External link opens in new window or tab. states that the state educational agency (SEA) shall approve an LEA Plan if the SEA determines that the LEA Plan is designed to enable the LEA's schools to substantially help children meet the academic standards expected for all children. As a requirement for receiving federal funding sub-grants for ESEA programs, the local governing board and the SBE must approve the original LEA Plan. Subsequent approval of revisions to LEA Plans is made by the local governing board and kept on file with the original LEA Plan. The LEA Plan includes specific descriptions and assurances as outlined in the provisions included in the ESEA.

The purpose of the LEA Plan is to develop an integrated, coordinated set of actions that LEAs will take to ensure that they meet certain programmatic requirements, including student academic services designed to increase student achievement and performance, coordination of services, needs assessments, consultations, school choice, supplemental services, services to homeless students, and others as required.

CDE program staff review LEA Plans for compliance with the requirements of the ESEA including evaluation of goals and activities designed to improve student performance in reading and mathematics; improve programs for English learner students; improve professional development and ensure the provision of highly qualified teachers; and promote efforts regarding graduation rates, dropout prevention, and advanced placement. If an LEA Plan lacks the required information, CDE program staff work with the LEA to ensure the necessary information is included in the LEA Plan before recommending SBE approval.

In any year, initial LEA Plans, including LEA Plans for new or reauthorized direct-funded charter schools, must be approved by the SBE by its March meeting in order for the LEA to be eligible for current year funding. LEA Plans approved by the SBE after its March meeting will receive funding for future years only. LEA Plans are due no later than the first week of January of the current fiscal year, for potential placement on the March SBE agenda.

ESEA Section 1112(d)(3) External link opens in new window or tab. requires each LEA, following initial CDE review and SBE-approval, periodically review and, as necessary, revise its LEA Plan. The ESEA does not define periodically. However, the CDE defines periodically as, at a minimum, each LEA review and, as necessary, revise its LEA Plan annually as LEAs are subject to review at any time. All LEA Plan revisions must be approved by the LEAs local governing board and kept on file with the original LEA Plan. The CDE does not maintain copies of revised LEA Plans.

In addition,:

  • Under the ESEA, LEAs are responsible for implementing specific federal and state requirements during each year that they are in Program Improvement (PI) status. Visit the CDE 2015-16 PI LEA Requirements for timeline, requirements, templates, guidance, technical assistance, and resources for LEAs in PI Years 1, 2, and 3 Corrective Action.
  • The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California's new school funding formula, was enacted in 2013. The Local Control Accountability Plan (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 California Education Code (EC) Section 52060(d) External link opens in new window or tab.. 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 External link opens in new window or tab. ).
  • The Consolidated Application (ConApp) is the annual fiscal companion to the LEA Plan. The SBE approves initial LEA Plans and subsequent ConApp submissions. The ConApp is used by the CDE to distribute categorical funds from various state and federal programs to county offices, school districts, and direct-funded charter schools throughout California. LEAs must have an approved ConApp before federal funds can be apportioned to LEAs.

Update on Local Educational Agency Plans
April 9, 2008, letter to County and District Superintendents and Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators regarding the status of the Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plans that were approved in July 2003 for a five-year period.

Requirements for New and Reauthorized Direct-Funded Charter Schools Seeking Federal Funds Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
November 18, 2011, letter to Select Charter School Administrators regarding the requirements for new and reauthorized direct-funded charter schools seeking federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.

State Board of Education-Approved Local Educational Agency Plans
Links to State Board of Education (SBE)-Approved Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plans by year.

Local Educational Agency Plan Templates and Guidance
Templates and guidance for completing the Local Educational Agency (LEA) Plan.

Questions: Rena M. Carlson | rcarlson@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0243 
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 12, 2016
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