The Local Educational Agency Plan (LEA Plan)
The approval of a Local Educational Agency Plan by the local school board and State Board of Education is a requirement for receiving federal funding subgrants for NCLB programs. The LEA Plan includes specific descriptions and assurances as outlined in the provisions included in NCLB. In essence, LEA Plans describe the actions that LEAs will take to ensure that they meet certain programmatic requirements, including student academic services designed to increase student achievement and performance, coordination of services, needs assessments, consultations, school choice, supplemental services, services to homeless students, and others as required. In addition, LEA Plans summarize assessment data, school goals and activities from the Single Plans for Student Achievement developed by the LEA’s schools.
In May 2002, California’s State Board of Education (SBE) demonstrated the state’s commitment to the development of an accountability system to achieve the goals of NCLB by adopting five Performance Goals:
- All students will reach high standards, at a minimum attaining proficiency or better in reading and mathematics, by 2013-2014.
- All limited-English-proficient students will become proficient in English and reach high academic standards, at a minimum attaining proficiency or better in reading/language arts and mathematics.
- By 2005-2006, all students will be taught by highly qualified teachers.
- All students will be educated in learning environments that are safe, drug-free, and conducive to learning.
- All students will graduate from high school.
Development Process for the LEA Plan
LEAs must develop a single, coordinated, and comprehensive Plan that describes the educational services for all students that can be used to guide implementation of federal and state-funded programs, the allocation of resources, and reporting requirements. The development of such a plan involves a continuous cycle of assessment, parent and community involvement, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. The duration of the Plan should be five years. The Plan should be periodically reviewed and updated as needed, but at least once each year.
In developing the Plan, the LEA will review its demographics, test results, performance, and resources. Given that the majority of such information is readily available in the School Accountability Report Card (SARC), the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) performance results, the Academic Performance Index (API) results, and other data sources, the LEA will find the data easy to access via the Internet. (See Appendix B for links to each of the web sites containing student and staff demographic information, SARC, STAR, and API data.) The LEA is expected to gather and review its own information from these resources and use it to inform the planning process.
The LEA Plan can serve as a summary of all existing state and federal programs and establish a focus for raising the academic performance of all student groups to achieve state academic standards. In the context of this plan, improvements in instruction, professional development, course offerings, and counseling and prevention programs are means of achieving specific academic and support services goals for all groups of students, including identified under-performing student groups. Federal law requires that school site administrators, teachers and parents from the LEA (which includes direct-funded charter schools) must be consulted in the planning, development, and revision of the LEA Plan.