Humphrey, D. C. & Koppich, J. E. (March 2015). Foster Youth and Early Implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula: Not Yet Making the Grade. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is the first comprehensive change in the state’s education funding system in 40 years. The LCFF calls out foster youth as a distinct sub-population of underserved students to whom added attention must be paid to improve their educational outcomes. The first year of implementation of the LCFF resulted in little specific attention to foster youth in most school districts’ plans. Still, foster youth advocates are cautiously optimistic about the future prospects for supports to meet the needs of foster youth. As the LCFF implementation continues, districts, county offices of education, social service agencies, and the state will need to attend to a complex set of challenges including: the lack of a comprehensive data system, the absence of a consistent definition of foster youth, strategies to strike the appropriate balance between data sharing and confidentiality, clarification of new and different roles for county offices of education, and the multidimensional ongoing needs of foster youth even after they leave the foster care system.