Process and Protest: California examines the efforts of several California districts to fulfill the stakeholder engagement requirements of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) in the development of their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs).
Our analysis starts from the premise that pursuing educational equity and excellence means prioritizing the needs of underserved groups. High-quality, ongoing engagement among school officials and the members of these communities represents the most effective way to address the needs of California’s most underserved students.
Despite best intentions, however, the concept of “stakeholder engagement” can often feel like a rote exercise or an invitation for inevitable conflict, instead of a meaningful and collaborative process meant to support students, families, and schools. However, we believe that a meaningful PROCESS of engagement is vitally important, even if it results in PROTEST. Furthermore, investing in a good PROCESS may serve to build the trust needed to prevent PROTEST.
Today, stakeholder engagement is enshrined in state and federal laws (see Process and Protest, July 2017, for our analysis of the engagement processes within each state’s Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, accountability plans), underscoring the urgent need for ongoing dialogue about the conditions in our schools.
The following report includes a brief history of LCFF, LCAPs and reflections on stakeholder engagement, a description of the five promising practices identified in our research, and case studies of districts that are applying these practices to their LCAP process.