On April 11, the Kern Education Justice Collaborative (KEJC) and Building Healthy Communities—South Kern launched a campaign using radio, print, and digital ads and billboards to raise public awareness about the importance of the community’s involvement in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process.
The LCFF provides additional funding for low-income, English language learning, and foster youth (LI, ELL, and FY) students. The LCAP process, which legally requires schools to engage stakeholders and to gather public input in April and May 2016, determines how this additional money is spent.
Now is the time for parents to get involved in their childrens’ education.. There is a lot of money at stake and the LCAP process is an opportunity for parents to voice their preferences for how LI, ELL, and FY student funds are spent.
A recent survey of voters in the Kern High School District (KHSD) conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) found that parents’ highest priorities include supporting students’ physical and emotional health, better preparing students for careers, parent engagement, substance abuse support, and addressing potential problems with gang prevention programs.
According to the survey, 77 percent of the voters are supportive of schools emphasizing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) over exclusionary discipline policies such as suspensions and expulsions. They prefer safety dollars be spent on programs that include conflict management and teacher training rather than increasing police presence in the schools.
Focus groups, conducted before the survey, revealed that voters see the purpose of police in schools as protecting students from external threats instead of maintaining internal discipline.
The data show that parent engagement in decisions about LCFF funding allocations could likely be improved if schools communicate well in advance of meetings, emphasize that parents’ views will be influential in decision-making, and hold meetings in the evening to help overcome the barriers of parents’ work schedules and other time commitments.
KEJC encourages the community to get involved at the local level by attending LCAP Public Input Meetings at local schools. Parents have the opportunity to let school officials know that a significant portion of these funds should be spent on positive discipline policies.
Community members can find out when and where meetings are being held and learn more about how to get involved, by contacting Dolores Huerta Foundation, Education Program Associate, Dr. Gerald Cantu at (661) 322-3033 ext. 1209 or going to the following link Kern High School District LCAP Meeting Calendar.