Each June, every school district in California is required to submit a three year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) as part of the state's new school funding formula. New resources from the California Alliance, Arts for LA and Arts for All offer a look at trends in the ways that districts are investing in arts education and a closer look at a few strong examples from actual LCAPs and how advocacy played a role in these districts.
Arts for LA and LA County Arts Commission Arts for All have released findings from a research initiative analyzing all 81 school district LCAPs in LA County. The research provides baseline information on the number of districts that included the arts in their LCAPs, which state priority areas are linked to the arts, and the types of arts programs being funded at schools. The findings will also provide a broad sense of trends for how arts education strategies are being used by school districts.
CREATE CA January 30 & 31
We’re kicking off 2015 with a statewide convening of CREATE California to ignite collective impact and expand arts and creativity in California schools. Join us in Oakland on January 30 & 31, 2015 for workshop sessions, policy briefings and conversations to open up new opportunities for collaboration. We will be joined by Governor Jerry Brown, Apple University’s Randy Nelson, as well as students from the Oakland School for the Arts and the San Francisco Student Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble. Read Story about CREATE California Statewide Convening
In January, local school boards will begin drafting plans and making budget allocations for the coming years. This free one-hour webinar on Tuesday, December 9th at 12:00pm PT, will outline effective ways to be an agent for positive change in your school district. Find out what's in your district's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), why it matters and how arts education can help students and schools succeed. Panelists will share their experience with how to:
· Seize opportunities to impact district planning
· Understand what’s in a district LCAP
· Work with a district superintendent
· Influence a local school board Read Story about Webinar: Local Arts Education Advocacy 2015
With the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), local school boards have been given authority to set the priorities and funding allocations for their districts, which makes building relationships with your local school board members more important that ever.
Now that the elections are over, a great way to start a relationship with the winning candidate is to write her or him a congratulations letter. It doesn’t matter who you voted for, now is the time to reach out and start building bridges to ensure supporting arts education is a part of their plans. A congratulations letter is a good way to let your voice be heard while starting off on a positive note.
Read Story about Why Congratulate New Candidates?
The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), passed last year, offers a historic opportunity for school districts to set new, locally driven goals aimed at improving outcomes for students who are often underserved in public schools.
Responding to this shift, the Alliance created a toolkit of materials, which connect documented impacts of arts education to the law’s eight new priorities. Working with our Policy Council, Local Advocacy Network and through partnerships with the California State PTA, Arts for All, Arts for LA, California School Boards Association, Nick Rail Music, Families in Schools and Ed Trust-West, we were able to engage hundreds of community members who:
- Made school board presentations in 30 school districts
- Served on district advisory committees
- Provided written feedback or public comment on their district’s draft LCAP plan
We are now in the process of gathering district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) from the advocates and districts we worked with this year. We will share them on LCAP Watch, a site that aims to gather LCAPs from all of California’s schools districts to create public transparency in school district plans and budgets. Read Story about District LCAPs show investment in arts education
The California Alliance for Arts Education is proud to partner with Education Trust-West on LCAP Watch, an effort aimed at creating public transparency into school district plans and budgets. It will gather completed LCAPs in a central location online to facilitate analysis, monitoring and accountability around these plans.
According to Education Trust-West,
“When Governor Jerry Brown dramatically reformed school funding in 2013, he also required that school districts engage in an open, transparent, and public budgeting and planning process. A central component of this is the Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP. The LCAP is the district’s 3-year plan for how it will use state funding to serve all students, including low-income students, English learners, and foster youth.
In the LCAP, the district presents its goals, actions, and expenditures. The district must describe what needs each goal addresses and the metrics being used to measure progress. After 2014-15, districts will report how the actions presented in the LCAP have improved outcomes for students.”
LCAP Watch is managed by the Education Trust–West and represents a coalition of partner organizations, including the Alliance who share our commitment to transparency. Many of these partners have also helped make the content possible. Read Story about Alliance Joins LCAP Watch
The State Legislative Budget Conference Committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the increase in state arts funding that was recommended by the Assembly earlier this month. This is first chance in over a decade to restore funding for the arts in our state! Please send a letter by end of day today.
(pictured on left) Josey McCall, senior at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, CA.
As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways arts education empowers young people to be creative problem-solvers, effective communicators and critical thinkers. The Student Voices Campaign gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials.
Eric Nilsson, a principal at the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, California, whose students are participating in the campaign, says: “Arts in education is absolutely critical to all of us. It nurtures the imagination, ignites creativity, and fosters curiosity and innovation. These things – imagination, creativity, curiosity and innovation – bring our young people alive and help them to see a world of possibility and hope.” Read Story about Student Videos Envision "A world of possibility and hope"
At the 2014 National Title I Conference, Dr. Monique Chism, Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education, took a stand for arts education within the Title I program. Not only did she share her conviction that “arts education ensures that underserved students in public schools, particularly low income students and English-learners do better in school and [...] have the greatest relative improvements in academic achievement when participating in arts programs,” but she also shared a personal story of how the arts impacted her as a young person. (See video below). Read Story about U.S. Dept of Ed Supports Arts Education in Title 1 Program