Written by Pat Reilly
As California looks back on its first full school year of the Local Control Funding Formula, nonprofits with strong parent engagement, equity in schools and expanded learning have capitalized on interest in the formulas to promote their role in improving education here in California.
While there are well-known STEM, early learning, anti-obesity and other conferences and gatherings that serve as an opportunity for education media to cover best practice and movement on education issues, there was no high profile organized effort to examine how Local Control funds are being used.
Instead, enterprising nonprofits who took it upon themselves to examine the 900+ Local Control funding plans submitted across the state were successful in shaping how school districts choose to invest in issue like social and emotional learning and advances in common core.
A recent EdSource article featuring an informal survey by the Partnership for Children and Youth is one example.
And the California PTA has expertly leveraged their brand and advocacy to motivate and educate parents about their new-found power to influence school funding decisions.
The California Endowment can take credit for seizing the moment last September with its wildly creative and successful bus tour: All Aboard the School Success Express!