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Cover sheet of the proposed 2024-25 West Contra Costa Unified School District 2024-25 budget.

After ‘unprecedented’ decision, WCCUSD racing to pass LCAP and budget

on July 3, 2024

If the West Contra Costa Unified School District doesn’t pass a Local Control Accountability Plan by Aug. 15, it’s not clear what would happen next because the school board’s decision to reject the plan last week was “unprecedented,” said Contra Costa County Schools Superintendent Lynn Mackey. 

The parent-led plan sets the course for about $64.8 million in district spending, particularly for the most vulnerable students. Without an LCAP, the board could not pass the proposed $509 million operating budget, which was supposed to go into effect on July 1. 

Mackey said the county is working with the district to meet the new deadline but stressed that it is not taking over the budgeting.

“It is a procedural issue, so there is no takeover happening, and I am distressed that that kind of language keeps getting out there in the community,” she said this week. 

However, as of Wednesday, there hadn’t been any contact between the district and the LCAP committee, which has about six active members, said LCAP Chair Lucas Menanix. He said the district did not provide crucial information the committee needed to draft a clear and specific plan. 

“We as a parents advisory committee are supposed to be provided with data and metrics and transparency in how these funds have been spent and whether or not they achieve their desired goals of programs,” he said. 

At the board’s June 12 meeting Menanix and other committee members expressed their disappointment with the process, with one committee member calling it broken. 

Karissa Provenza, an attorney with Public Advocates supporting the committee, said that the district is legally obligated to engage with the committee before it presents the final budget to the board. The committee then has an opportunity to provide more feedback, based on what the district accepted or rejected in the plan. 

“So that process did not happen this year,” she said. 

The committee saw the final document only when it was presented to the board June 26, she said. 

At that meeting, two of the four board members present voted against the LCAP, one voted in favor and one abstained. 

“I can’t make sense of it,” said Leslie Reckler, who voted to reject it.  “And this document seems to be less transparent than ever before.”

The district did not return Richmond Confidential’s calls about the process. The school board is expected to return to the issue at its next meeting on July 17.

WCCUSD poised to miss budget deadline amid LCAP controversy

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