Focus Areas

School Finance: A Key Advocacy Area


We work to help secure adequate funding for every child’s education.


California’s new school-funding law — the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) — is a new way for schools to focus on student success.

The LCFF requires school districts to involve parents in planning and decision making as well as in developing Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). It also:

  • Requires your school district to focus on the eight key areas that help all students succeed
  • Provides extra funding for students with greater challenges
  • Gives your district more flexibility for how to spend its money to improve local schools.

The LCFF and LCAPs are a huge opportunity for parents to shape the vision for your children’s education and make it happen! Your voice matters – find out more and join the conversation!


The new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is an exciting, positive step for public schools because it requires parent engagement in planning and decision-making, provides additional funding for students with greater challenges, and gives local school districts more flexibility for how to spend money to improve local schools. But LCFF does not change the fact that, overall, California’s schools remain chronically underfunded.

The LCFF reforms how dollars from the state get distributed to, and spent by, local school districts, but it doesn’t address the true need for adequate funding so schools can provide the level of programs and services that all students need and deserve.

For more than three decades, California has funded its public schools below the national average. During the recession that started in 2008, the funding went from bad to worse.

The 2014 Education Week Quality Counts report ranked California 50th among states in adjusted per-student expenditures.* A recovering economy and a temporary tax helped to stabilize funding in 2012-13 and 2013-14, but it will be many years before the deep cuts that were made are restored. Even when the new LCFF is fully implemented, without further action, school funding in California will still lag behind other states.

*This analysis accounts for regional cost differences and is based on 2011 data. California spent an average of $8,341 per student compared to the national average of $11,864. For more information about California schools, check out Education Week’s Quality Counts 2014 and interactive state report cards online.

Download and share information about the need for adequate funding for our schools with our flier.



Even with the passage of Proposition 30 in 2012, which provides a temporary tax increase, education funding is still sorely insufficient to provide all children with the educational opportunities required for them to be successful in the 21st century.

California State PTA continues to speak up for adequate funding for all students. Urge your locally elected state legislators to END THE CHRONIC UNDERFUNDING OF CALIFORNIA’S SCHOOLS.

Urge legislators to approve a long-term plan to address this funding crisis once and for all, and to move California up from the basement in school funding, so that the programs that all children need to be successful can be restored and built up.

Contact your legislator and send an email or letter, or request a meeting in his or her local office. Urge your legislator to make sure that schools are adequately funded. It is critical to ensuring the long-term success of the new LCFF!