Focus Areas

School Finance

Local, state, and federal dollars support the education of six million students in California’s K-12 public schools. Proposition 98, passed by California voters in 1988, constitutionally guarantees a minimum level of funding for K-12 schools and community colleges.

In 2013, California implemented a new system called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). LCFF provides extra funding for students with greater challenges and gives your district more flexibility for how to spend its money to improve local schools. Here is how it works:

  1. Base Funding: All districts receive a base grant for each student. The base grant is larger for grades 9-12 than for other grade levels.
  2. Supplemental Funding: Districts receive 20% additional funding per student for students with higher needs — children learning English, in poverty, and/or in foster care.
  3. Concentration Funding: Districts with large concentrations of students with these identified needs get additional money. If more than 55% of children in the district are in poverty, in foster care, or learning English, the district receives an extra 50% of the base grant for each student beyond the 55% threshold.

In order to encourage local oversight, an important element of the Local Control Funding Formula is that school districts must engage parents and communities to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).


Although California State PTA is delighted that the state budget invests in long-time PTA priorities, and we are seeing one-time dollars for our education system, California has historically ranked among the lowest state in per-pupil spending, ranking 41st in 2019.