SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash is optimistic about the future.

His annual State of Our Schools talk was more about changes than grades.

The biggest change implemented in the past year was the common core.

Rather than memorization, common core allows teachers to teach students how to think critically, collaborate and communicate.

Students will be able to delve deeper into subjects and read more fiction.

Cash received applause when he talked about reaching out to English learners and Latino students to make sure they have an opportunity to enroll in GATE programs and advanced placement classes.

A pilot test will be given to see how common core is working in March, but the test scores won't count until next year.

Another big change is a new funding formula that requires local control and accountability.

But the formula that will give schools more money per pupil is based on socio-economics.

Educators said Santa Barbara schools may be missing out on some funding because of under-reported eligibility for free and reduced lunch programs.

PTA members said they hope to inspire families to fill out the forms whether they want to accept the lunches or not.

The superintendent plans to hold meetings to discuss the local control accountability plan next month.

After gathering input school boards will decide how to spend the money.