By Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe School District board held a public hearing on May 29 to review its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), a new requirement of all school districts this year as a result of the state’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCCF). The LCAP and the district’s 2014-15 budget will be approved at the June 5 regular board meeting.
With the formula, revenue limits and most state categorical funding are eliminated and each school district’s funding formula is based on the number, grade level and demographics of the students the district serves. Rancho Santa Fe will continue to be a community-funded district, primarily funded through property taxes although the district will still receive state and federal monies.
The purpose of the LCCF is to provide a higher quality of instruction focused on students being college and career ready, addressing the needs of all groups, such as low-income students, English language learners and foster youth, and eliminating the achievement gap. As only 4 percent of Rancho Santa Fe’s students fall into the low-income, English language learners and foster children categories, the district will not receive any additional money from the state through the funding formula but the district is still required to create an LCAP.
The accountability plan outlines the district’s annual goals for all students and addresses the state’s eight priorities that include items such as student achievement and college readiness, parental involvement, student engagement and implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
“This plan is really a reflection of what we’re already doing in the district and we’re doing some great things as far as English language learners,” Superintendent Lindy Delaney said. “We provide for that population more than most districts do because we think it’s important.”
Regarding the district’s 2014-2015 budget, Delaney said they are looking at revenues of $9.9 million, with expenditures of a little over $10 million. The Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation will also be contributing $1.3 million this year.
Delaney said with the district’s deficit at $100,000, they feel like the budget is something they can work with and provide the students with everything they need and more programs, such as robotics and making the library more of a media center and hub for students.
“The budget is in great shape,” Delaney said.
Speaking during public comment, RSF resident Lorraine Kent asked for the district to be more transparent, noting that not only is it important to get the information out to the public, more transparency can build enthusiasm and support for the district.
“I think the LCAP is critical and I would’ve like to have had more than 20 hours to review it,” Kent said.
Kent requested that the LCAP be posted online as well as the budget and current audits.
Delaney said that they had been discussing that option and it is a good idea — Delaney said that they will post both the LCAP, budget and audits from the past few years on the district website.
The LCAP and the district’s 2014-15 budget will likely be approved at the RSF School District board’s June meeting.