FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2023
UNITE-LA, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED AND UTLA COMMEND HISTORIC STATE INVESTMENT TO EXPAND THE DISTRICT’S COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
LOS ANGELES - UNITE-LA, Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles Unified), and United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) today applaud State Superintendent Tony Thurmond and State Board of Education (SBE) for including Los Angeles Unified among the 2022-23 California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) Implementation Grant Cohort 2 grantees. Los Angeles Unified, a long-time L.A. Compact partner and signer, received a $30 million investment from the CCSPP to sustain and expand the District’s Community Schools Initiative (CSI) for another five years. The SBE approved the list of Cohort 2 grantees on May 18, 2023.
CSI builds and leverages partnerships to improve student outcomes, including attendance, academic achievement and high school graduation. This historic investment will support all 21 schools in the newly elected Cohort 4, plus Baldwin Hills Elementary and Venice High School (schools from previous cohorts that did not previously qualify for state funding). The CCSPP funding will provide community schools with access to new resources, including: two new wellness centers, two high school work-based learning coordinators and college-readiness programs. It will also provide community school teams with more collaborative planning time and leadership training to better support the students in their schools.
"Thank you to UNITE-LA for partnering with Los Angeles Unified on our Community Schools Initiative, a fantastic program that is receiving a critical investment from the California Department of Education as the District expands to a fourth cohort of community schools," Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said. "We salute CSI's work to create and nurture community schools that help our students reach their full potential in school, career and life."
"When communities are involved in their schools, everyone benefits. Led by educators in collaboration with impacted families, our Community Schools have raised pupil enrollment, increased graduation rates, and improved student outcomes, as well as provide crucial services including health care, therapy, and housing assistance. With this significant investment, LAUSD is one step closer towards achieving an equitable education system built by and for our high-needs populations," said Cecily Myart-Cruz, President of United Teachers Los Angeles.
Community schools mobilize resources and transform instruction to more effectively meet the needs of students. Together, UNITE-LA, Los Angeles Unified, UTLA and grassroot partners bring the CSI's vision to life by creating the conditions students need to thrive in schools. The three organizations, along with the Community Schools Steering Committee, will utilize the four community schools' pillars to help schools leverage recent K-12 state funding streams and city and county resources to create a stronger foundation for students to learn.
"We are excited to witness the growth of the Community School Initiative, as it expands from its inaugural cohort to now encompassing four cohorts of schools. This investment marks a pivotal milestone in our collective mission to address opportunity gaps and dismantle deeply entrenched inequities for students not only within Los Angeles Unified, but also across the nation. With this historic support, we are confident in our collective ability to foster transformative change and create a more equitable future for all," said Alysia Bell, President, UNITE-LA.
Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has been a trusted business intermediary, dedicated to supporting the development of an effective local public education system, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Visit www.unitela.com.