For Immediate Release: October 14, 2021
Media Contact: Claudine Battisti – 717.884.6807
LOS ANGELES – Today, leading education, government, business and labor, and civic organizations in Los Angeles have signed onto the new L.A. Compact agreement.
The L.A. Compact is a bold effort to address gaps and opportunities that exist in our education and workforce development systems, and the list of Compact partners is impressive in its breadth. Leaders in L.A. County are committed to continuing and intensifying their collaboration to improve lives from cradle through career.
The L.A. Compact—which started 14 years ago to help transform educational and workforce systems in Los Angeles — has evolved into a county-wide effort with five, new system-wide goals to ensure every child and youth in the County has equal access to be lifelong learners. The goals, when achieved, are transformative:
- All children are healthy and ready to succeed in school
- All students graduate from high school
- All students complete post-secondary education
- Students of all ages acquire skills and knowledge to achieve career success
- All children and young adults thrive socially and emotionally, and contribute positively to the community
“Los Angeles Unified embraces the spirit of collaboration of the L.A. Compact and is pleased to recommit to this effort to uplift and address the needs of the young people in the Los Angeles region,” Los Angeles Unified Board President Kelly Gonez and Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly said. “As we recover from the racial, economic, and social inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we work across different sectors to ensure that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success. We are starting a new chapter of collaboration as we recommit to the L.A. Compact. We look forward to working together on behalf of our students.”
The Los Angeles County Office of Education, which represents 80 school districts, has been working with the L.A. Compact for the past decade to shrink the education and workforce gaps in the region.
“Over the last 10 years, our partnership has strengthened efforts in closing gaps in educational opportunity to improve student outcomes while addressing the needs of all of our students,” said Los Angeles County School Superintendent Debra Duardo. “We reaffirm our commitment with the L.A. Compact, now more than ever before, as we continue to navigate life and education through a global pandemic.”
The L.A. Compact priorities range from advancing a birth to eight agenda to expanding a comprehensive community school movement across the region to bridging the gap between K- 12 and postsecondary education and creating pathways to living wage jobs to improve the economic and social mobility of the region’s workers.
“In Los Angeles, we are focused on ensuring that every student, no matter their zip code or family income, can realize their dreams,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “By recommitting to the L.A. Compact, we are prioritizing our young people and doubling down on our work to both set every child up for academic success and build a highly-trained workforce.”
The L.A. Compact partners have achieved some significant milestones in the past decade including:
- 30 LAUSD schools are part of the Community Schools Initiative, which promotes a framework that recognizes the role of family and community to influence student achievement.
- 20,000 students are now enrolled in the L.A. College Promise, a program that offers two years of free tuition and other comprehensive supports to all first-time, full-time students.
- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. City Council together invested more than $30 million in youth work experience programs during the pandemic.
- Stronger teacher preparation practices and retention of teachers who graduated from local teacher preparation programs and were subsequently hired by L.A. Unified.
“I look forward to this next phase of the L.A. Compact, with our explicit commitment to equity for historically marginalized communities and populations,” said David Rattray, President & CEO of UNITE-LA, the organization where the L.A. Compact is convened. “The need has never been greater to move this important work forward for Los Angeles and beyond.”
For more on the L.A. Compact and the new agreement visit www.lacompact.org.
WHAT OTHER LOS ANGELES LEADERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE L.A. COMPACT
President Soraya M. Coley, Cal Poly Pomona
Matters of systemic inequities and racism represent society’s most pressing challenges, and the L.A. Compact sits at the very forefront of addressing these needs across the region. Cal Poly Pomona has been an active partner with the L.A. Compact for a decade because we know that eliminating equity gaps and expanding educational and economic opportunity for all students requires the broad collective action and a holistic approach to student success epitomized by the L.A. Compact. As an institution committed to preparing students for a lifetime of success, Cal Poly Pomona is pleased to join our partners in education, government, business and labor in reaffirming the work of the L.A. Compact.
President Bill Covino, Cal State LA
As a signer of the L.A. Compact, I affirm again Cal State LA’s commitment and join with others who share our vision of a system of education that helps all students fulfill their potential and transform their lives. As colleges and universities navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for our collective resolve is painfully clear.
Kim Belshé, Executive Director, First 5 LA
First 5 LA has long supported the LA Compact and remains steadfast in our shared goal of all children in Los Angeles County entering kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and life,” said Kim Belshé, executive director at First 5 LA. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the range of pre-existing disparities that negatively impact families in communities of color, the LA Compact’s commitment to closing systemic inequities has never been more important. To truly support the whole child and whole family, we must first understand and acknowledge the profoundly harmful role structural racism plays on child development and family stability. We must then work together to ensure our youngest children receive the early supports and learning opportunities that promote lifelong success. The LA Compact is a crucial forum where leaders and public stewards from across Los Angeles come together to advance policies and create systems change to meaningfully promote equity and strengthen families. First 5 LA is proud to reaffirm our commitment to the LA Compact.
President Nery X. Paiz, Associated Administrators of Los Angeles
AALA understands that student success is the ultimate measuring stick for those of us who work in education. The L.A. Compact is working to close education gaps that exist in L.A. County and we are very pleased and honored to be part of this noble effort to find resources for families and students in L.A. County.
Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez, L.A. Community College District
“The LACCD is the educational gateway for all and we are constantly striving to improve the experience and outcomes for the over 200,000 students we serve. The L.A. Compact’s goal of identifying ways to deliver that improvement in programs from cradle through career is mission critical work. Los Angeles County is the largest county in the United States and the L.A. Compact is the strategic and coordinated effort we need to improve and transform the lives of our residents through higher education.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District, L.A. County Board of Supervisors
“I’m proud to support the L.A. Compact which has expanded its focus and scope to advance student success across LA County. By focusing on not only K-12 education, but on the careers that await our young people, we can close education and workforce gaps in our County.”
President Thomas Parham, CSU Dominguez Hills
As the President of a university founded to intentionally provide opportunities to those who have been systematically under resourced and overlooked, I am excited by the bold and ambitious work of L.A. Compact. Its commitment to change systems that will create a better future for L.A. county residents mirrors the values and outcomes we strive for in creating educational equity for our CSUDH students. I am honored to continue partnering with L.A. Compact, especially at a time when we have witnessed the compounded effects of inequity on communities as they contend with a global pandemic and sustained social injustice. CSUDH and its leadership are proud to recommit to L.A. Compact because its values are our values.
Dr. Michael Spagna, Provost & VP for Academic Affairs, CSU Dominguez Hills
Education is often referred to as an equalizer and yet the chance to receive a quality education is not equal. The disparities that exist for people who are part of marginalized groups force them to combat much more hardship in order to even be provided with the opportunity that others take for granted. This realization makes education extend beyond what happens in the classroom and it is why partnering with L.A. Compact aligns so well with the vision and mission of CSUDH. It is clear to me as well as our president, Dr. Thomas A. Parham, that combating systematic disparities will require building new systems that keep the wellbeing of all members of society at the center of our values and our actions.