Understanding the LCAP’s Increased or Improved Services Requirement

By Jennifer Reyes, Ed.D., Educational Support Services Manager

January 15, 2019

California school leaders, are you confused about the LCAP’s increased or improved services requirement?

If so, you’re not alone!  Read on for a breakdown of the basics of this critical LCAP component.

Unduplicated Pupils

To begin, a charter school’s unduplicated count refers to the total number of students who belong to one or more of the groups identified for additional funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF):  Low Income (measured by Free/Reduced Lunch eligibility), English Learner, and Foster Youth.  Unduplicated simply means that any student in one or more of these groups would only be counted once in the calculation.

The unduplicated pupil count is used to determine the amount of supplemental and concentration funds the charter school will receive under LCFF.  Charter schools receive these additional funds up to a maximum of the unduplicated percentage of the school district in which they reside.

To illustrate, a charter school of 400 students may have a total of 320 unduplicated pupils. This school has 320 students who meet one or more criteria for unduplicated pupils.  Rather than add together the school’s 310 students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch, its 50 English Learners, and its five foster youth, the formula counts each student just once – even those who meet more than one criteria – for a total of 320 of the 400 enrolled students, or an Unduplicated Pupil Percentage (UPP) of 80%.

Alternate UPP Example

Total student population:  4

  • Student 1- Free/Reduced Lunch-eligible
  • Student 2- Free/Reduced Lunch-eligible and English Learner
  • Student 3- Free/Reduced Lunch-eligible and Foster Youth
  • Student 4- Meets no unduplicated pupil criteria

Unduplicated Pupil Count:  3

UPP: ¾=75%

Now, if the district the charter school resides in has an equal or higher UPP, the school will receive funds for its own full count. For example, if your UPP is 80% and the district your school resides in has a UPP of 90%, your UPP will be capped at 80%. However, if the district percentage is lower, the school will receive funding at the district percentage. For example, if your UPP is 80% but the district your school resides in has a UPP of 45%, your UPP will be capped at 45%.

Minimum Proportionality

Minimum proportionality refers to the proportion of supplemental and concentration funds to base funds the school receives. Districts and charter schools are required to state and justify how they have used the supplemental and concentration funds to increase or improve services for the unduplicated student population by at least the proportion of additional funds received.

For example, if a school receives $10,000,000 in total LCFF revenue, and based on its unduplicated student population receives $1,000,000 in supplemental and concentration funding, then its Minimum Proportionality Percentage (MPP) would be 10%.  This school needs to demonstrate how it has increased or improved services for its unduplicated student population, in quantity or quality, by at least ten percent.

MPP Example

All other LCFF Funding (less TIIG & Transportation):  $10,000,000

Supplemental and Concentration Funds: $1,000,000

MPP ($1,000,000/$10,000,000):  10%

How can a charter school best demonstrate that it has increased or improved services for its unduplicated pupils?  In the LCAP, each action or service must be identified as contributing or not contributing to the increased/improved services requirement.  Those contributing actions/services are then identified as being applied school-wide or limited to the unduplicated student population.

Increased or Improved Services Section Requirements

Here are the items a charter school must include in the LCAP under DIISUP:

  • The dollar amount of funds generated by unduplicated students.
  • The Minimum Proportionality Percentage (MPP) reflecting the proportion of funds generated by unduplicated pupils.
  • If enrollment for unduplicated pupils is above 55%, for services that are applied schoolwide, include a description of how the services are principally directed  and effective.  For unduplicated counts below 55%, for services that are applied schoolwide, include a description of how services provided are the most effective use of funds to meet the goals of the unduplicated pupils.  Provide the basis for this determination, any alternatives considered, plus supporting theory, experience, or research.

Examples of Actions and Services

Some examples we have seen of actions and services targeting unduplicated pupils:

  • Restorative justice programs to facilitate communication, and understand barriers/challenges
  • Paperwork party: guidance on completing college or financial aid applications
  • Academic counseling and transcript analysis
  • Health & wellness education workshops for families
  • Multi-disciplinary support teams
  • Connecting families to community resources
  • Methods for differentiating instruction
  • Training on how children respond to trauma
  • Training on social-emotional skills (particularly impulse control and empathy) or an SEL curriculum

Get Organized and Share Your Great Work!

A charter school or district needs to be able to show, through its LCAP, how it is appropriately utilizing the additional funds received to support unduplicated pupils.  Recent news coverage has spotlighted both charter and district examples where funds are underutilized or unaccounted for in LCAPs.  An August 2018 report by Public Advocates found that not one of the 43 California charter school LCAPs it reviewed had properly documented how the schools were increasing or improving services for unduplicated pupils.  In our experience with schools, there are often many innovative approaches and programs in place to serve unduplicated pupils, and our work together is a matter of organizing the information to meet the LCAP requirements and sharing success stories.

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