Required by all local educational agencies (LEAs) in California that receive funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 provides federal funding that may be available to local educational agencies (LEAs) (defined as county offices of education, districts, and direct-funded charter schools) for a variety of programs. California Department of Education (CDE) program staff review LEA Plans for compliance with the requirements of ESEA before recommending approval to the State Board of Education (SBE).

ESEA Section 1112(e)(2) External link opens in new window or tab. states that the state educational agency (SEA) shall approve an LEA Plan if the SEA determines that the LEA Plan is designed to enable the LEA's schools to substantially help children meet the academic standards expected for all children. As a requirement for receiving federal funding sub-grants for ESEA programs, the local governing board and the SBE must approve the original LEA Plan. Subsequent approval of revisions to LEA Plans is made by the local governing board and kept on file with the original LEA Plan. The LEA Plan includes specific descriptions and assurances as outlined in the provisions included in the ESEA.

The purpose of the LEA Plan is to develop an integrated, coordinated set of 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.

CDE program staff review LEA Plans for compliance with the requirements of the ESEA including evaluation of goals and activities designed to improve student performance in reading and mathematics; improve programs for English learner students; improve professional development and ensure the provision of highly qualified teachers; and promote efforts regarding graduation rates, dropout prevention, and advanced placement. If an LEA Plan lacks the required information, CDE program staff work with the LEA to ensure the necessary information is included in the LEA Plan before recommending SBE approval.

Following initial CDE review and SBE approval, all LEAs are required to annually review their LEA Plans and update them as necessary. Any changes to the LEA Plan must be approved by the LEA’s local governing board and a copy of the revised plan should be kept on file with the original LEA Plan. The CDE does not maintain copies of revised plans.

In addition,:

  • Under the ESEA, LEAs are responsible for implementing specific federal and state requirements during each year that they are in Program Improvement (PI) status. Visit the CDE PI LEA Requirements for timeline, requirements, templates, guidance, technical assistance, and resources for LEAs in PI Years 1, 2, and 3 Corrective Action.
  • The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California's new school funding formula, was enacted in 2013. The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is an important component of the LCFF. Under the LCFF, all LEAs are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how they intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to California Education Code (EC) Section 52060(d). The LCAP does not replace the federal requirements related to LEA Plans in Section 1112 of the ESEA. However, the LCAP template will be developed by the SBE in a manner that meets both the LCAP requirements and the federal requirements, and the SBE will take steps to minimize duplication of effort at the local level to the greatest extent possible (EC Section 52064).
  • The Consolidated Application (ConApp) is the annual fiscal companion to the LEA Plan. The SBE approves initial LEA Plans and subsequent ConApp submissions. The ConApp is used by the CDE to distribute categorical funds from various state and federal programs to county offices, school districts, and direct-funded charter schools throughout California. LEAs must have an approved ConApp before federal funds can be apportioned to LEAs.