We envision a future where public schools are designed to serve and support diverse groups of students, as well as honor the cultural and linguistic assets that students and their families bring to the table. That is why the signers of the L.A. Compact have embraced the community schools’ whole child approach to transform schooling and deliver on the promise of a public education, and recently adopted the expansion of community schools as a priority strategy in the 2021 L.A. Compact agreement. We are thrilled to announce that L.A. Unified, a long-time Compact partner and signer, just received a $44 million investment from the state’s Community Schools Partnership Program to sustain and expand the district’s Community Schools Initiative (CSI) for another five years.
Community schools are an evidence-based approach for improving a variety of student outcomes, including attendance, academic achievement and high school graduation. This historic investment builds on last year’s $6 million Community Schools Partnership Program grant award. It will sustain the current 29 community schools for an additional five years and help onboard a new cohort of schools in the upcoming school year. It will also provide community school teams with more paid planning time and a variety of professional development opportunities to better support the students in their schools. We anticipate seeing the CSI grow from 34 schools to well over 70 schools in the next few years as future funding opportunities from the Community Schools Partnership Program becomes available.
L.A. Unified community schools’ movement grew out of a grassroots effort to advance education justice for Black and Brown students. It wasn’t until the 2019 teacher strike agreement that the district dedicated $12 million to start the CSI. UNITE-LA has been a steadfast partner from the onset of this movement, and has worked alongside L.A. Unified, UTLA and grassroot partners to build the infrastructure to scale the CSI and ensure long-term impact and sustainability. This includes co-convening the Community Schools Steering Committee, building political will to sustain community schools, seeking state funding to grow the initiative, and facilitating partnerships between community schools and City of L.A. services and programs.
We are excited to collaborate alongside our partners in supporting this important equity initiative to transform the ways students learn and experience school in L.A. Unified and across the county. We would very much like to hear from you on how your respective institutions could further support the community schools’ movement. For more information, please contact Ariana Oliva, L.A. Compact Senior Manager, at [email protected].
The L.A. Compact Team