When a school district becomes insolvent and has to receive an emergency appropriation, FCMAT conducts the comprehensive review process as outlined in Education Code (E.C.) 41325-41328. FCMAT’s experience indicates that for schools and school districts to be successful in program improvement, the evaluation, design and implementation of improvement plans must be standards-driven. FCMAT has experienced positive differences when an objective standards-based approach is used rather than a non-standards-based approach. When standards are attainable, clearly communicated and defined, there is a greater likelihood they will be measured and met. The FCMAT comprehensive standards are often the basis of the fiscal recovery and improvement plans developed for a district that receives an emergency appropriation.
The FCMAT comprehensive review standards are aligned with industry best practices and with applicable state and federal laws, including the California Education Code. The standards are designed and intended to affect functions directly at the district, school site and classroom level and, if implemented, to lead to a district’s recovery in the five operational areas assessed: community relations and governance, pupil achievement, financial management, personnel management, and facilities management (E.C. 41327.1).
A recovery process of this magnitude is a challenging, multiyear effort for any district. Progress toward the standards, and more importantly, recovery, is measured annually, with the goal of having the district regain local control. Each standard is measured using a consistent rating format. FCMAT developed a rubric with the following scaled rating from zero to four, indicating the extent to which a standard has been met:
|0.||Not Implemented. There is no significant evidence that the LEA has planned for or implemented the standard.|
|1.||Planning. The LEA is planning in preparation for implementing the standard.|
|2.||Implementation Begun. The LEA has begun implementing elements of the standard.|
|3.||Implemented. The LEA has effectively implemented all critical elements of the standard.|
|4.||Sustained. The LEA has implemented all elements of the standard and sustained the implementation effectively for at least one year.|