LAUSD Reaffirms Its Commitment to Its Youngest Learners
$34 Million over Next Two Years for High Need Early Care and Education
Los Angeles, CA. Advancement Project congratulates the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education for passing a resolution investing approximately $34 million through 2017 to support the needs of its youngest learners. The 6-1 vote occurred on August 26, 2014 in a late-night board meeting. It is historic in that it is the largest single early care and education (ECE) investment by a school district in over a decade; and is the largest investment in ECE by a school district that includes Local Control Funding Formula monies.
This resolution and the funds it provides will expand access, provide parent education, and provide mental health resources to the District's youngest students. Advancement Project estimates that the funding could serve almost 2,000 young children and their families. Funds will come from the Local Control Funding Formula and state funding, and will be targeted to the schools and students of highest need, including English Learners, low income students, foster youth, and in geographic areas that have limited preschool availability.
“This is a momentous decision,” said Kim Pattillo Brownson, Director of Educational Equity at Advancement Project. “During the Great Recession, the early care and education system was decimated by budget cuts. This is the beginning of restoring the system that is so important to the future of our youngest, most vulnerable students.”
The full resolution is available on the LAUSD website, on page 4; item #15, but a key piece of the resolution states:
“Resolved, That the Board reaffirms its commitment to its youngest learners by investing an additional $14 million in 2015-2016 to the Early Education Division and $20 million in 2016-2017, pursuant to the timeframe of the Local Control Funding Formula and its corresponding Local Control Accountability Plan.”
Advancement Project, in partnership with other local and statewide advocacy groups, has been urging the Board to restore funding in this manner for some time. In 2012, Advancement Project published a report – Shrinking Investments Yield Smaller Returns: Mapping the Loss of Early Childhood Education Investment and Infrastructure in LA County During the 2008-2011 Great Recession – that spelled out the devastation of the early care and education system during the Great Recession. Also in 2012, we created an interactive data portal – www.SaveMySeatLA.org – that showed in granular detail the extent of cuts and what damage further cuts could do to a system already on the brink of disappearing.
John Kim, Managing Co-Director of Advancement Project, said, “We have been pleased to see the growing recognition of the importance of early care and education in the future of children on the part of policymakers of all levels. This vote by the LAUSD board sets a standard for school districts across the state to emulate.”
A growing body of research shows that early education is crucial to a child’s future and provides a significant return on investment. These programs are crucial to preparing students for success in the K-12 systems, and lowers dropout rates, decreases the amount of students who are held back a grade, decreases instances of special education placements, and increases test scores. The benefits are even greater for students from low-income families or who face special challenges, such as English Learners and those in the foster care system.
For more information about the LAUSD resolution or about Advancement Project’s work in Educational Equity, contact Kim Pattillo Brownson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 989-1300.