California's System of Support - California's system of support is one of the central components of California’s accountability and continuous improvement system.
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.
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.
- 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).
Although sometimes described in short-hand as "funding for differentiated assistance," these are unrestricted funds (i.e., not a categorical) intended to ensure COEs have resources to support their school districts. These funds are an add-on to the existing LCFF formula for COEs (which is also unrestricted funding), recognizing that the differentiated assistance work is "new" work resulting in additional workload. Specifically, EC 2575.2, which creates the add-on, includes a base allocation for each COE and then the rest of the formula is tied to number of districts receiving differentiated assistance within each county on a rolling three-year average (two year average for 2018-2019).
Additionally, pursuant to EC 52066(i), COEs must annually develop a summary in conjunction with their LCAP that describes how the COE is supporting its districts in general and includes a more specific description of the supports provided to districts receiving differentiated assistance (including source of funds for those activities). So COEs are expected to transparently explain how they are supporting their school districts in general and more specifically for those receiving differentiated assistance. These summaries will be compiled and publicly posted by the CDE.
Accordingly, while LCFF funds are unrestricted, COEs will have to annually document the supports provided as part of differentiated assistance and more generally to school districts. While COEs should prioritize these funds to enhance the supports they provide to school districts in differentiated assistance, there is no limitation of making those supports more broadly available within the county.
Is there a formula that will be used to allocate the additional funding provided for COEs in the Budget Act of 2018?
Yes, all COEs with two or more districts will receive base funding in the amount of $200,000 annually. COEs will received additional funds based on the size and number of districts identified for differentiated assistance. (EC 2575.2(b)) The formula is as follows:
- $100,000 multiplied by the number of small school districts (2,499 ADA or less)
- $200,000 multiplied by the number of medium school districts (at least 2,500 ADA but not more than 9,999 ADA)
- $300,000 multiplied by the number of large school district (10,000 ADA or more
COEs will receive these additional funds through continuous appropriations, as part of their Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Funds will be added to their LCFF state aid and paid in monthly increments per the Principal Apportionment (PA) payment. The PA payment schedule will be posted on the PA web page at every certification period.