San Dieguito district prepares plan to spend state funds for 2015-18

The San Dieguito Union High School District is in the process of finalizing its Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), the plan for how it will spend allocated funding from the state for the next three years. The LCAP is a requirement of all school districts as a result of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that first went into effect last year.

With the formula, revenue limits and most state categorical funding are eliminated and the funding formula is based on the number, grade level and demographics of the students the district serves.

The LCFF funding comes in base and supplemental formats. The base grant is the per pupil amount; supplemental grant is additional funding based on English learners, low income and foster youth. San Dieguito’s 2014-15 target for supplemental expenditures was about $950,000 and in the 2015-16 school year, the amount has grown to $1.6 million.

Supplemental funding will be used to provide increased support for English learners, intervention courses for those performing below grade level, college readiness courses, professional development for teachers on strategies to support English learners and increasing course access for all students.

The public hearing for the LCAP will be June 4, with final approval on June 16, along with the 2015-16 budget.

The LCAP must include an update about progress made toward the previous year’s goals and any adjustments that need to be made.

According to Jason Viloria, executive director of educational services, the district is performing strongly compared with other districts. In 2013-14, the percentage of English learners making annual progress was 73 percent, compared with Carlsbad Unified at 68 percent and 58 percent in San Diego Unified.

The district also has high AP exam pass rates and graduation rates — 23 percent of SDUHSD have a GPA of 4.0 or higher. Of those students above 4.0 GPA, 1.6 percent are English learners and 2.7 percent are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Viloria said the district had a 2013-14 AP exam pass rate of 85 percent, which is impressive, as SDUHSD is an “open access” district. The district saw a record number of students take AP tests this year compared with last year — the biggest jump at La Costa Canyon.

Part of the LCAP is “stakeholder engagement,” making sure parents, staff and students are involved in the planning process. Viloria said that the district is lucky that Superintendent Rick Schmitt doesn’t like to sit still and does a lot of engagement activities. For the LCAP, the district used feedback from more than 30 stakeholder meetings and more than 1,000 responses from a parent LCAP survey.

The San Dieguito District English Learner Advisory Committee also gave input about having more options for English learners and working harder toward reaching proficiency.

Viloria said 4.2 percent of the district’s population is classified as English learners, and while the district has seen a drop in those numbers, the population has much greater needs.

“We do a great job in this district, and this is a great portrait of the work, but we always look to do better,” Viloria said.