Thank you for your steadfast dedication to improving educational outcomes and closing attainment gaps for children and youth in Los Angeles. We hope the new year brings you a renewed sense of purpose and optimism for the future.
Over 100 Gather to Bridge the Gap Between Foster Youth and Education
On November 29, the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative, John Burton Advocates for Youth, and UNITE-LA teamed up with Cal State L.A. and the ReLAY Institute at the CSU5 to host the 2nd Annual Fostering Connections to Higher Education & Careers Summit. This event brought together 117 foster youth service providers from across the Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, the L.A. County Departments of Children and Family Services and Probation, the seven workforce development boards in L.A. County, and the 20+ colleges and universities in the region. The event featured presentations on how to engage and motivate youth in early career exploration, information on accessing local workforce development resources, perspectives from former foster youth on how to help youth make successful transitions to college, as well as information on in-demand occupations and training programs in the region. As a result of what they learned at the Summit, 98% of respondents stated they would follow up with someone they met to request information or help, 94% stated that they would connect a foster youth to a college support program or to the DCFS Independent Living Program, and 91% would make a referral to a local workforce program.
California Competes released a report before the new year highlighting the importance of giving adults college recognition for the education they completed when they were students. Part one of their report, Back to College, follows the trajectories of four million adults and identifies the challenges they face when going back to school to finish their degree. Part two of the report outlines policy recommendations that would break down those barriers, enabling adults with some college, no degree to complete their degrees. The L.A. Compact and Compact partner CSUN Connections were featured in the report for our work on reverse transfer efforts. Read more about the report.
Stewardship Group Continues to Update the Compact in 2019 to Better Reflect Shared Goals
At its final meeting of the year, the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group received a briefing on LAUSD’s ReIMAGINING campaign and engaged in a robust conversation about the Compact’s new two-year priorities. LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner shared his vision for how to empower schools and achieve greater equity for students. Following the briefing, group members explored how Compact partners can help the district design a strategy to improve its infrastructure and coordination of school services.
Over the past year, Compact partners have been updating its priorities so that they align with current workgroup activities and existing partner commitments. As a part of this process, the Stewardship group members formally adopted 10 new two-year priorities that reflect our current areas of focus and momentum. Stewardship Group members will continue to play a key role in updating the Compact in 2019 to ensure our goals and priorities reflect our shared vision. Building on the Compact’s commitment to ensuring racial equity, Stewardship Group members will participate in a half-day retreat facilitated by the National Equity Project on January 24th. With generous support from the Lumina Foundation, the retreat will help the Stewardship Group develop common a vocabulary, conceptual frameworks, and practical tools that will assist us in applying an equity lens to our work.
Joint Advocacy Group Charts 2019 Legislative Agenda
The Joint Advocacy Group convened in early December for its 2019 legislative retreat. The group charted its 2018 legislative wins and losses and began discussing potential 2019 priorities, including early childhood education, special education, FAFSA simplification, immigration, emergency financial aid funding, food insecurities in schools and homelessness. 2019 priorities will be finalized and approved at the mid-January meeting.
L.A. College Promise Enters its Sophomore Year
In the latest data report provided to the L.A. College Promise (LACP) Executive Committee, there is promising evidence that the LACP is helping more local students enroll and persist in college. Over the past two years, the LACP has steadily increased the number of LAUSD first-time freshmen enrolling in LACCD colleges full-time (up 56.2% from 2016). The LACP has also maintained persistence into the second year at 75%, with 50% of students continuing to enroll full-time. Given the diversity of the student cohort, the partners are now looking to address unmet basic needs which can derail students from graduation. LACCD plans to use a portion of their state AB 19 funding to provide discounted transit passes, as well as stipends for books, or meals. The Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has continued to provide valuable enrichment opportunities for Promise Scholars, including leadership opportunities through the Mayor’s College Promise Student Advisory Board and international travel opportunities through the Mayor’s Young Ambassadors Program. In 2019, the LACP partners plan to organize regional student conferences, host an inaugural class graduation celebration, and continue to advocate for sustained state funding.
Making the Credential Market More Transparent
The Workforce Systems Collaborative met in December to discuss a compilation of employer engagement efforts across the LA region to support the development of coordinated approaches and Credential Engine - a national project to make the credential market more transparent. The group will convene via videoconference in January to revise the Compact’s career readiness and success goal with the Data Work Group.
Check out what’s happening across all of the L.A. Compact workgroups, including the Joint Advocacy Workgroup, Student Success Workgroup, Health Sector Collaborative, L.A. Performance Partnership Pilot and more in our L.A. Compact Workgroup November/December Update
We saw great strides being taken for the future of education as newly-elected Gov. Gavin Newsom released his 2019-2020 budget proposal, which included significant funding for cradle to career education. The governor’s investment in education is in large part a reflection of our shared work to ensure California’s students receive the best education possible and the right pathways for a successful and stable future. Read the rest of our letter.
Development, was quoted in Compact partner First5LA’s new astonishing report of data collected of over 6,000 children regarding kindergarten-readiness. Using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) Tool, the data provides insight on developmental readiness for kindergarten in young children. The tool helps us understand several areas where many children may fall vulnerable, including social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills and physical health and well-being.
“We [...] need to better understand what those elements are that make children thrive, and how we can replicate them across the county to create more supportive learning environments for all children,” said Rattray. “Countywide Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, such as the EDI, can help us get there.” Read more.
This past December, four L.A. Compact partners were recognized as Champions of Higher Education for Excellence in Transfer by the Campaign for College Opportunity. The honorees were recognized for their efforts to successfully implement the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT), a streamlined degree which simplifies the transfer process for students by limiting required unit loads, guaranteeing admissions to a California State University (CSU) campus, and guaranteeing junior standing upon transfer. The Los Angeles Community College District’s East Los Angeles College was recognized for growing its share of ADT graduates, earning them fourth place across the state for ADT growth. California State University, Dominguez Hills was recognized for increasing ADT enrollment by 463% from 2016, with nearly half of all incoming transfer students enrolling with an Associate Degree for Transfer. California State University, Los Angeles was recognized for growing ADT enrollment by 376% from the 2016-2017 academic year and California State University, Northridge was recognized for ranking first among all 23 CSU campuses for enrolling ADT students. In the year ahead, the L.A. Compact Student Success Workgroup will seek to build upon these strengths to further strengthen ADT transfer pathways in the region.
Only six percent of eligible infants and toddlers in Los Angeles County have access to state subsidized child care, according to a report released earlier this year by the Advancement Project. In response, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion on November 27th to study the availability of county owned property that could be converted into future child care facilities. This could reduce the number of children waiting to access quality child care services. Additionally, the Board of Supervisors gave the green light for several county departments to conduct a comprehensive financial landscape analysis on early care and education. The final report, due June 2019, will highlight how funds supporting early care and education services are being utilized along with recommendations on how to maximize resources.
WHAT WE'RE READING
L.A. Area Chamber Commends LAUSD and UTLA on Reaching an Agreement [Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce]
The CA Dept. of Education received about $10 million in Preschool Development Grant funding [First Five Years Fund]
The Child Poverty Plan [End Child Poverty in CA]