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Toward a Grand Vision: Early Implementation of California's Local Control Funding Formula

Research Brief


Daniel C. Humphrey (SRI International) and Julia E. Koppich (J. Koppich & Associates)
Additional Research Team Members: Camille Esch (Independent Consultant); Julie A. Marsh and Michelle Hall (University of Southern California); Ashley Campbell, Paul Petit, Janelle Sands, and Rebecca Wolf (SRI International); Laura Stokes and Katherine Ramage (Inverness Research); Jennifer Imazeki (San Diego State University).


California has taken the first steps down an historic path that fundamentally alters how its public schools are financed, education decisions are made, and traditionally underserved students' needs are met. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), passed with bipartisan legislative support and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on July 1, 2013, represents the most comprehensive transformation of California's school funding system in 40 years.

The LCFF is a paradigm shift for California education, and it is still in its infancy. How are school districts using their newfound budget flexibility in this early implementation phase? How are they engaging parents and other stakeholders? What opportunities and challenges do they foresee with the LCFF? What can state policymakers learn from these early experiences?

With generous support from the Stuart Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation, a team of 12 independent researchers set out to answer these questions. This research brief summarizes the findings.

Intended Audience

California education policy makers, educators, and local community members; other federal, state and local policy makers, educators, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document.

Date published

November 2014

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.

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