Testifying before the State Board of Education

July 11th, 2014
Randall Putz testifies before the California State Board of Education
Randall Putz representing Bear Valley Unified School District before the State Board of Education
Bear Valley Unified Local Control Accountability Plan

I was invited to testify before the California State Board of Education on July 10, 2014, to share our Bear Valley Unified School District‘s experience creating its first Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) as mandated by the recent Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation.

While I had been to Sacramento before to lobby our State lawmakers on behalf of our schools and Valley, I had never provided testimony before the State. It was quite a production – we were lined up and I was speaker #46, given just 1 minute to speak. It was a good reminder for me of how intimidating it can be to address a Board.

I wanted to let the State Board members know that it is important to keep the “Local” in the LCFF and LCAP, as I believe our local community knows what is best for its local children. (See my testimony below.) As an example of innovative work that can come from the local level, I also mentioned our District’s LCAP Infographic, to find out later that the State Board members specifically mentioned it during their discussion as a good tool to reach out to parents and the community. I must say it is gratifying when the State of California takes notice of your School District’s hard work.

Here’s my testimony:

Hello, I’m Randall Putz, a School Board Trustee from Bear Valley Unified, a small rural district in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains.

I urge you to keep the “Local” in the LCFF. As a result of our LCAP process, our District is energized and revitalized, with more latitude and money, to develop innovative education programs tailored to the needs of our local children.

I have here, and you should have in your materials, our District’s LCAP Infographic, one example of our unique local solutions that distills the State LCAP template down from 47 pages to 8. This infographic efficiently demonstrates the hard work and good things we do for our students, engages our stakeholders, and even communicates to the English-challenged.

We have a significant investment in the steep learning curve of our LCAP, over 1000 hours, and need a chance to capitalize on that investment, without excessive State tinkering.

Thank you for being brave enough to trust local elected officials and their communities to determine what is best for their local children.

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