File photo
File photo

LINCOLN MIDDLE SCHOOL — Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District officials are holding the first in a series of workshop this afternoon to formulate an accountability plan for the 2014-15 budget.

The Local Control Accountability Plan will be built by the district and the community but approved by the State Board of Education. It will specify eight elements that each district must address. This afternoon, SMMUSD will explain the parameters of the plan to the community so that they can form the plan at later meetings.

The Local Control Funding Formula, a Gov. Jerry Brown proposal passed in June, distributes the same dollar amount per low-income and English-learning student to each district in the state. It also allows greater flexibility to the districts as to how they can use the money. With the flexibility comes the local accountability plan, which will be published in the spring of next year.

“We don’t know exactly what the LCAP is going to look like,” said Superintendent Sandra Lyon. “We want to get the stakeholders framed to think about budgeting differently.”

School Services of California, which advises the district on fiscal matters, will give a presentation about the new funding system. They will then take questions from those in attendance.

The eight priorities identified by the state to be addressed in the district’s plan, include student engagement, student achievement, basic services, school climate, course access, the implementation of Common Core standards, parental involvement, and other student outcomes.

In the past, the community was less involved in budgeting and the purpose of the meeting is to get the public up to speed.

“What does that look like with the stakeholders much more involved,” Lyon said. “Our goal is to get the whole community to hear it and understanding the big picture. To understand what comes with all this new flexibility.”

The accountability plan will include regulations, requiring SMMUSD “to increase and improve services for targeted students and will provide authority for school districts to spend funds school-wide when significant populations of those students attend a school,” according to the California Department of Education.

The next meeting will likely be held in January. A final template is due in March. Changes will be reflected in the district’s 2014-15 budget.

The Local Control Funding Formula gives an additional 20 percent to each low-income and English-learning student. About 3,500 students, or 31 percent of SMMUSD’s total school enrollment, are expected to receive extra funding.

Santa Monica will not benefit as much as some other districts whose enrollment is a majority low-income or English-learning.

The meeting will be held at 4 p.m. in the Lincoln Middle School cafetorium at 1501 California Ave.

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