The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological research study was to explore the lived experiences of secondary school leaders serving in districts with an Unduplicated Pupil Percentage (UPP) of 55% or higher and receiving supplemental and concentration funds during the early implementation of Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The complexity of the multifaceted K-12 public funding system on the daily work of school leaders managing budgets, and the limited amount of research on this phenomenon and school leader’s own perspective guided this study. The Response to Intervention (RTI) framework was used to address the new multi-tier funding system for LCFF and to analyze the participants lived experience. Common themes included setting and implementing ambitions goals, using stakeholder input to prioritize funding at the site level, and taking advantage of budgetary flexibility to meet student need. The themes provided a logical progression of the secondary school leaders’ actual lived experience of implementing LCFF and LCAP. This study had three conclusions in response to the research question. The first conclusion, creating authentic experiences to gather stakeholder input, can help school leaders cultivate a collaborative environment. The second conclusion, gathering stakeholder input, provides school sites with valuable information about what their local community considers important. The final conclusion, utilizing funding flexibility, allowed school leaders to focus on creating more personalized opportunities for the school community.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Leadership, administration, and policy; Educational leadership; School budgets -- Case studies; Education, Secondary -- Evaluation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lund, Christopher A.;