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California's System of Support

California's system of support is one of the central components of California’s accountability and continuous improvement system.

Goal

The overarching goal of California’s system of support is:

To help local educational agencies (LEAs) and their schools meet the needs of each student they serve, with a focus on building local capacity to sustain improvement and to effectively address disparities in opportunities and outcomes.

Education Improvement Before
Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
Education Improvement After LCFF
Top down transactional exchanges focused on schools in isolation Support providers work alongside LEAs and their schools to identify key challenges and opportunities
Packaged approaches for interventions Systemic approach tailored to locally identified needs and strengths
Isolated team decision making Engaging with local educators and communities as part of decision making
Redundancy and contradictions across state and federal programs Streamlined and coherent expectations for LEAs across state and federal programs
Assistance disconnected from local priorities and focus Assistance supports LEAs in aligning, prioritizing, and using resources to meet student needs identified in the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP)

Characteristics

The characteristics within California's system of support are:

  • Reduce redundancy across state and federal programs
  • Integrate guidance and resources across state and federal programs
  • Support LEAs to meet identified student needs through the LCAP process

Levels of Support

California’s system of support includes three levels of supports to LEAs and schools.

Level of Support Description of Supports Available

Support for All LEAs and Schools
(Level 1)

Various state and local agencies provide an array of support resources, tools, and voluntary technical assistance that all LEAs may use to improve student performance at the LEA and school level and narrow disparities among student groups across the LCFF priorities, including recognition for success and the ability to share promising practices.

Differentiated Assistance
(Level 2)

County superintendents, charter authorizers, the California Department of Education (CDE), and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) provide differentiated assistance for LEAs, in the form of individually designed assistance, to address identified performance issues, including significant disparities in performance among student groups.

Intensive Intervention
(Level 3)

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction may require more intensive interventions for LEAs with persistent performance issues and a lack of improvement over a specified time period.

Identified for Differentiated Assistance (Level 2)

  • County offices of education (COEs) must offer differentiated assistance to a school district if any student group does not meet performance standards for two or more LCFF priority areas. California Education Code (EC) Section 52071(c).
  • The CDE must offer differentiated assistance to a COE if any student group does not meet the performance standard for two or more LCFF priorities. EC Section 52071.5(b).
  • Charter authorizers must provide differentiated assistance to a charter school if three or more student groups (or all student groups if the charter school has less than three student groups) does not meet the performance standard for any LCFF priority area in three out of four consecutive school years. EC Section 47607.3

Local Control Funding Formula

LCFF is California's new school funding formula, enacted in 2013. Actual funding allocations, when available, will be available via the Principal Apportionment web page.

LCFF Support and Assistance

The spreadsheet linked below and the Assistance Status Key provide the 2017–18 assistance status for schools districts.

Coordination and Alignment

The 2018 state budget includes several provisions that provide important clarity around roles, responsibilities, and expectations within the system of support. The budget also includes a substantial investment of state funding aimed at increasing the capacity and expertise of agencies required to provide assistance within the system of support. These provisions fall into two general categories.

Clarifying and Enhancing Existing Statutory Roles and Responsibilities. The first set of provisions clarify the roles and responsibilities and provide ongoing funding for the agencies responsible for providing differentiated assistance to school districts.

Infrastructure to Build Capacity, Develop Expertise, and Ensure Coordination. The second set of provisions establish and provide funding for new roles with specific responsibilities aimed at developing the capacity of agencies responsible for providing differentiated assistance and ensuring access to a broad range expertise within the system of support.

Taken together, these provisions ensure that there is: (1) a clear point of contact for a school district or COE to seek support responsive to a locally identified need, (2) a clear process and responsibility for agencies within the system of support to work together to connect the school district or COE with relevant resources or avenues for assistance, and (3) improved visibility of the resources, expertise, and services available across the state through various agencies and state-funded initiatives to support success in accomplishing (2) above.

Geographic Lead Agencies

Geographic Lead Agencies will build the capacity of COEs to ensure that counties are equipped to build the capacity of their LEAs to support the continuous improvement of student performance within the state priorities.

Community Engagement Initiative Lead Agencies

The Community Engagement Initiative Lead will build capacity in communities in order to expand successful community engagement practices statewide.

Special Education Resource Leads

To further develop California's system of support, the Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Resource Leads will consist of two types of statewide special education leads: SELPA Systems Improvement Leads and SELPA Content Leads. The main goal of the SELPA Leads is to grow differentiated assistance provided to LEAs with a focus on improving the outcomes of students with disabilities (SWD).

Title III COE Regional English Learner Specialists

Through partnership, the CDE and the California County Superintendents' Educational Services Association (CCSESA) designate Title III Regional COE Leads to provide technical assistance to the LEAs within each of the 11 County Superintendent regions.

Partnerships

In addition to the numerous resources and supports that California provides to all LEAs and schools, the LCFF recognized that some LEAs may require additional assistance to improve student performance, and identifies several agencies with a role in providing differentiated assistance or more intensive intervention to LEAs: the CDE, COEs, and the CCEE, with the State Board of Education (SBE) playing a central policy role. This cross agency group is responsible for providing differentiated assistance to school districts.

Important Resources

California School Dashboard – Core Messages

California School Dashboard External link opens in new window or tab.

Continuous Improvement Resources

Summary of Most Recent State Board Items

As the policy-making body for the CDE, the SBE is an integral part of California's system of support and continually receives updates. For the most recent items and presentations by the CDE on California's system of support, please visit the CDE SBE.

Questions:   Regional Support and Awards Office, Karmina Barrales | RSAO@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-9692
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 5, 2018
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