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Bear in the Details: Codifying Community-Based Accountability’s Process

Our work group has had many questions on how a Community-Based Accountability process would occur on the local level (For CI’s full thread on Community-Based Accountability go here). I noted in a prior post that California had recently developed a Local Control and Accountability plan as part of their school finance reforms. I also noted in an earlier post that the proposed TX HB 5 had some semblances of Community-Based Accountability retrofitted into the bill. The TX HB 5 currently states on process:

(c)  A school district shall use criteria developed by the commissioner as described by Subsection (d)(1) in conjunction with criteria developed by a local committee established as provided by Subsection (d)(2) to evaluate the performance of a campus under this section.

(d)  The commissioner shall:

(1)  in accordance with commissioner rule, establish a separate committee that includes members as described by Sections 39.204(c) and (d) to develop criteria for each program or category of performance under Subsection (b) in the manner provided for developing criteria for a distinction designation under Section 39.204(e); and

(2)  by commissioner rule, prescribe requirements for school districts to use to establish a local committee to develop district criteria.

See the full text of proposed Texas House Bill 5 here.

Notably, Angela Valenzuela’s Texas Center for Educational Policy’s assessment of community-derived measures in their policy brief on the proposed TX House Bill 5 was the following:

With regards to campus and district accountability indicators, HB 5 builds upon the original intent of House Bill 3, passed during the 81st legislative session, and continues us on a path for rating schools and districts based on multiple criteria. House Bill 5 takes this process out of the hands of the Commissioner, and rather, proposes to place it in the hands of local districts and communities.  While this idea may sounds appealing in theory, legislators should be mindful of a significant lack of capacity for our all of our communities in Texas to engage in meaningful, expert conversations. Even in well-­‐resourced contexts replete with experts, we further risk creating a system of advantage where those in power superficially engage marginalized communities.

Could a community process be co-opted? Do communities lack capacity to have expert conversations? They are valid questions. Moving beyond Texas’ current bill language, what would a locally-based process look like? We can thank California for taking the lead. For the entire CA trailer bill go here. For extensive summary from EdSource go here Brown details how to hold districts accountable under funding reform. For your viewing pleasure, an excerpt of California’s attempt to codify the process of locally-based accountability:

52060.  (a) The governing board of each school district shall adopt a local control and accountability plan using a template adopted by the state board.

(b)  A local control and accountability plan adopted by a governing board of a school district shall be effective for a period of at least one year but no longer than five years. If a governing board of a school district adopts a plan that would be effective for a period longer than one year, the governing board must approve an update to the existing plan at least annually.

(c)  On or before July 1 of each fiscal year, a governing board of a school district shall take action on a local control and accountability plan for the subsequent fiscal year, either by adopting a new local control and accountability plan or by approving an update to a plan the governing board of the school district has previously adopted.

(d)  A governing board of a school district shall update the local control and accountability plan if the governing board of the school district determines that changes in the composition of the base Academic Performance Index require the school district to take specific actions and use strategies that are not already included in the plan to meet the Academic Performance Index growth target for each school in the school district. If the governing board of the school district determines that an update is necessary, the governing board of the school district shall approve the update by November 1 of the year in which the new base Academic Performance Index is released.

(e)  A governing board of a school district shall demonstrate that a local control and accountability plan approved by the governing board of the school district was developed in consultation with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils.

(f)  A governing board of a school district shall ensure that a local control and accountability plan is consistent with all school plans submitted pursuant to Section 64001 by a school district for schools within the school district.

(g)  Before adopting a local control and accountability plan or approving an update to an existing plan, a governing board of a school district shall hold at least one public hearing to solicit recommendations and opinions of members of the public regarding specific actions and strategies that should be included in the plan. The agenda for the public hearing shall be posted at least 72 hours before the public hearing and shall include the location where the local control and accountability plan will be available for public inspection. This public hearing shall be held at the same meeting as the public hearing required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 42127.

(h)  A governing board of a school district shall notify members of the public, using the most efficient method possible, of the opportunity to submit written recommendations and opinions regarding specific actions and strategies that should be included in the local control and accountability plan. This subdivision shall not be interpreted to require a school district to produce printed notices or to send notices by mail.

(i)  A governing board of a school district shall adopt a local control and accountability plan in a public meeting. This meeting shall be held after, but not on the same day as, the public hearing held pursuant to subdivision (g). This meeting shall be the same meeting during which the governing board of the school district considers a budget pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 42127.

(j)  A governing board of a school district may adopt a revised local control and accountability plan if the governing board of the school district is required to adopt a revised budget. A revised local control and accountability plan shall be adopted at the same meeting that a revised budget is adopted.

52061.  (a) Not later than five days after adoption of a local control and accountability plan or approval of an update to an existing plan pursuant to Section 52060, the governing board of a school district shall file the plan with the county superintendent of schools. The plan shall be filed on the same day that the governing board of the school district files the budget pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision

(a)  of Section 42127.

(b)  The county superintendent of schools shall do all of the following:

(1)  Examine if the plan adheres to the template adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 52066 and includes all of the components identified in subdivision

(a)  of Section 52064.

(2)  Determine if the budget for the subsequent fiscal year adopted by the governing board of the school district includes expenditures sufficient to implement the specific actions and strategies included in the local control and accountability plan adopted by the governing board of the school district, based on the projections of the costs included in the plan.

(3)  In making the determinations pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), consider input from teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils from the school district.

52062. (a) Each county superintendent of schools shall develop, and each county board of education shall adopt, a local control and accountability plan using a template adopted by the state board.

(b) A local control and accountability plan adopted by a county board of education shall be effective for a period of at least one year but no longer than five years. If a county board of education adopts a plan that would be effective for a period longer than one year, the county board of education must approve an update to the plan at least annually.

(c)  On or before July 1 of each fiscal year, a county board of education shall take action on a local control and accountability plan for the subsequent fiscal year, either by adopting a new local control and accountability plan or by approving an update to a plan the county board of education has previously adopted.

(d)  A county superintendent of schools shall update and present to the county board of education for approval the local control and accountability plan if the county board of education determines that changes in the composition of the base Academic Performance Index require the county superintendent of schools to take specific actions and use strategies that are not already included in the plan to meet the Academic Performance Index growth target for each school operated by the county superintendent of schools. If the county board of education determines that an update is necessary, the county board of education shall approve the update by November 1 of the year in which the base Academic Performance Index is released.

(e) A county superintendent of schools shall demonstrate that a local control and accountability plan was developed in consultation with teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils. A county superintendent of schools also shall demonstrate that the superintendents of all school districts in the county were consulted in the development of the plan.

(f)  A local control and accountability plan shall be consistent with all school plans submitted pursuant to Section 64001 by the county superintendent of schools for schools operated by the county superintendent of schools.

(g)  Before adopting a local control and accountability plan or approving an update to an existing plan, a county board of education shall hold at least one public hearing to solicit recommendations and opinions of members of the public regarding specific actions and strategies that should be included in the plan. The agenda for that hearing shall be posted at least 72 hours before the public hearing and shall include the location where the local control and accountability plan will be available for public inspection. The public hearing shall be held at the same meeting as the public hearing required by Section 1620.

(h)  A county board of education shall notify members of the public, using the most efficient method possible, of the opportunity to submit written recommendations and opinions regarding specific actions and strategies that should be included in the local control and accountability plan. This subdivision shall not be interpreted to require a county board of education to produce printed notices or to send notices by mail.

(i)  A county board of education shall adopt a local control and accountability plan in a public meeting. This meeting shall be held after, but not on the same day as, the public hearing held pursuant to subdivision (g). The meeting shall be the same meeting during which a county board of education considers a budget pursuant to Section 1620.

(j)  A county board of education may adopt a revised local control and accountability plan if the county board of education is required to adopt a revised budget. A revised local control and accountability plan shall be adopted at the same meeting that a revised budget is adopted.

52063.  (a) No later than five days after adoption of a local control and accountability plan or approval of an update to an existing plan pursuant to Section 52062 by a county board of education, the county superintendent of schools shall file the plan with the Superintendent, the county board of supervisors, and the county auditor. The plan shall be filed on the same day that the county superintendent of schools files the budget pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1622.

(b)  The Superintendent shall do all of the following:

(1)  Examine if the plan adheres to the template adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 52066 and includes all of the components identified in subdivision

(a)  of Section 52064.

(2)  Determine if the budget for the subsequent fiscal year adopted by the county board of education includes expenditures sufficient to implement the specific actions and strategies included in the local control and accountability plan adopted by the county board of education, based on the projections of the costs included in the plan.

(3)  In making the determinations pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), consider input from teachers, principals, administrators, other school personnel, parents, and pupils in the county.

So what do you think?… you read this far…

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (697 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

1 Comment on Bear in the Details: Codifying Community-Based Accountability’s Process

  1. This is a plan whose time has come.

    Like

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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