Added burden for LA charters: individual spending plans
Vanessa Romo | March 26, 2014
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As if this wasn’t a busy enough time of year for charter schools, they now have an added “to-do” on their list of state mandated documents to submit before the end of the year.
Every charter school in the district — and that includes 52 affiliated and more than 200 independent schools — must craft an individual Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to show how it will disperse funds from Governor Jerry Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
Traditional LA Unified public schools are covered under the district’s LCAP, so they’ve been spared the extra paperwork.
“This is the fourth major plan that is due this month and on that timeline, the LCAP is the last one that’s due, so my attention has been on the first three,” Joe Martinez, principal of Carpenter Community Charter School in the Valley told LA School Report.
Martinez is also chairman of Valley Affiliated Charter Schools, a coalition of 43 charter schools in the San Fernando Valley who are working together to meet state and federal funding guidelines.
He says all charter schools have been facing deadlines for major issues. Orders for textbooks were due last week, each school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement is due to the state at the end of the week, and next week, they’ll have to finalize their annual budgets for the 2014-15 school year.
“Once those get done, then I’ll start focusing on the LCAP,” Martinez said.
That’s not to say they charters and the district haven’t been preparing for the April 30 LCAP deadline.
Jose Cole-Gutierrez, chief of the charter schools division for the district, met with all affiliated charter school leaders last week.
“We’ve given them templates to use as models so that they’re not all starting from scratch,” he told LA School Report.
“We know there’s a lot on principals’ plates, and the LCAP is new, but we’ve tried to create a web of support [for charter schools],” he said.
The district has assembled a team with members from six offices including Budget Services and the Office of Instruction to help affiliated charter school leaders navigate the new process.
Once the district has approved the charter school LCAPs, they head to the state in July.
When asked if he is stressed about the approaching due date, Martinez laughed and said, “We’re not going to lose sleep over it, we’re just going to make sure it gets done.”