In Los Angeles, an exciting initiative is taking shape under the leadership of LACOE Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo. Dr. Duardo created a strategic partnerships initiative that serves as the “front door” for savvy private funders who want their resources to align with public funds to accelerate innovation that can benefit the greatest number of children.
One of LACOE’s most recent accomplishments is its formalization of a Communities Schools Initiative in 15 pilot districts, complete with a full-time director and in-school coordinators co-funded between LACOE and private donors. LACOE’s work on the Communities Schools Initiative is twofold. First, staff collaborate across county agencies, including the departments of Children and Family Services, Public Health, Public Social Services, and Probation, to source funding and staff to support under-resourced schools. Then, with the help of its newly hired director, the program connects kids and families with a wide range of public and private programming, from help with food security to mental health support. Without private funds LACOE could not have made the pilot work.
Since the initial partnership began with Mountain Philanthropies, LACOE has launched the Greater LA Education Foundation and received more than $20,000,000 of local investment to support the community schools initiative and other strategic priorities. Mountain Philanthropies is honored to support the critical work that is bringing school and community leaders together with government, public, private and community-based organizations to create meaningful and lasting change for public education.