Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Cindy Petersen

Second Advisor

Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Jody Graf


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify and describe the impact of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) within Kern County, Monterey County, San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County in narrowing the achievement gap in underachieving populations identified as English Language Learners (ELL) and low socioeconomic status (low SES). Additionally, the purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify strategies implemented by districts who had the highest percentage of change in narrowing the achievement gap.

Methodology: A mixed-method study was conducted in two parts. First, a quantitative analysis was conducted by comparing the achievement gap in English Language Arts of ELL and low socioeconomic students and their peers from 2013 to 2018. The data were compared, and used to rank the districts. Second, a qualitative study was then conducted through interviews with seven of districts in the top 15% by ranking.

Findings: The LCFF did indeed make an impact on the achievement gap, reducing the mean gap by 4.7% and the median gap by 4.5%. Of the four counties observed, 71% of the qualifying elementary school districts narrowed the achievement gap between the targeted subgroups and their peers. The strategies that districts used to reduce the achievement gap included themes of Personnel, Curriculum, Programs, Technology, Professional Development and Other Areas.

Conclusion: The study supported the inclusion of teacher collaboration time, and frequent Local Control Accountability Plan committee meetings. Successful districts also focused on people, they valued and empowered their people to make necessary changes. Through this empowerment and team building districts were able to meet the challenge of narrowing the achievement gap.

Recommendations: Further studies could be conducted with High School Districts, using a similar approach. Another idea for future study would be to look at only districts with over 90% unduplicated student populations and look at the impact for the districts receiving the most support.

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