What is an LCFF?


Infographic by: Avenlea Russian

Diego Roberto

A Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is a formula that determines how school districts around California get funding from the state government. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown implemented the LCFF program, which uses a formula that is based on regular enrollment plus the enrollment of high-need students to allocate funding.

Betsy George, Assistant Superintendent as well as head of the budget department, stated that high-need students include English learners and low socioeconomic students.
“It was created to make more equity, [because] previous to that, school districts all got [funding] based on their enrollment,” said George. “So [even] if you were a high-need area, you got the same amount of money as an area that maybe didn’t have high-need [students].”

George gave the example of Loma Vista Elementary School as a school that receives more LCFF funds based on high-need enrollment, because it is one of the few elementary schools in Ventura County that offers a English Language Learners program. This allows them to receive more money than schools without these populations of high-need students.

Ventura Unified School District has about 16,400 students enrolled, and VUSD gets $4,800 per student. This comes out to around 78.7 million dollars. Added on are the “$1,700 for each of our approximately 9,300 high-need students.” This tacks on an additional 15.8 million, winding up at around 94.5 million dollars. In VUSD’s 2018-2019 budget report they stated that they brought in 151.1 million dollars from LCFF funds — the additional 56.6 million dollars comes from alternative sources of funding.

VUSD gets paid for the students enrolled in Ventura High School, but VHS doesn’t see this money directly in their budget. The money that VUSD earns based on VHS’s student population is about 11.8 million dollars, but VHS’s total budget for the 2018-2019 school year is only around 117,000 dollars. The money does not go directly into VHS’s budget. If the money went directly to VHS, with 2,427 students enrolled, then the budget would be in between 11.5 and 13.7 million dollars.

Infographic by: Avenlea Russian

VUSD’s budget for the 2018-2019 school year is around 188.5 million dollars, of which LCFF funds constitute around 80%. The rest is made up of money from local, state and federal sources — VUSD gets 8.2 million dollars from federal revenue, 16 million from other state revenue and 13.2 million from local revenues.