LCFF Priority 7

Course Access

Priority Description

The LCFF priority addresses a course of study where programs and services are developed and provided to students learning English as a second language, students with special needs, youth in foster care, and individuals with exceptional needs.

Issues of Equity

All students must be recognized and viewed with an asset-based lens. Certain student groups have been identified and given a label that triggers low expectations in the minds of many educators. Systems of support are not closely woven into the fabric of general education, and some educators fall prey to the soft bigotry of low expectations.


School leaders and LEA administrators understand that addressing a course of study includes creating community-informed guiding documents and supports to ensure best practice. Districts need to organize their structures, processes, and practices to support all learners, with special attention to the needs of our most vulnerable students.

  • Ensure that all master schedule coursework is “a-g”-approved
  • Eliminate tracking and placement in non-“a-g” coursework due to perceived student capacity
  • Provide open access to AP and IB programs
  • Implement an MTSS framework to ensure students get the support they need, when they need it, and how they need it


Districts need to analyze their data on the following student populations:

  • Students learning English as a second language
    • Engage in implementation of the English Learner Roadmap
    • Establish strengths-based belief system (multilingual versus English learner)
    • Conduct ongoing monitoring of language acquisition and reclassification rates
    • Ensure designated and integrated English language development is taking place daily
  • Students with Special/Exceptional Needs
    • Ensure accurate understanding of IEP goals and outcomes
    • Establish positive and ongoing communication with families
    • Ensure general education and special education staff members have time to collaborate
    • Ensure leaders are knowledgeable about students’ engagement when conducting classroom observations
  • Youth in Foster Care
    • Ensure accurate understanding of foster youth education rights
    • Ensure leaders are knowledgeable about best practices for screening and enrolling youth in foster care
    • Provide professional learning on trauma-responsive care


Educators must work to truly understand labels. While this suggestion might seem like common practice, we might ask:

  • Have we explored, as a collective, how certain labels amplify the mindset we have about a student’s capacity?
  • Are our supports organized in order to amplify, accelerate, and integrate students into our whole group setting?
  • Are our supports taking students away from the classroom?
  • When students have multiple educators assigned to their support, how healthy is the communication and collaboration? Is there intentional time to plan and discuss?
  • As school leaders conduct walkthroughs, do they know their children well enough to ensure students are being given the supports they need in real time?

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