In Los Angeles, an exciting new initiative is taking shape under the leadership of LACOE Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo. Dr. Duardo is creating a strategic partnerships initiative that will serve 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 significant recent accomplishments is its formalization of a Communities Schools Initiative in 10 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 supports. Without private funds LACOE could not have made the pilot work. Mountain Philanthropies is honored to partner with Dr. Duardo and a growing cadre of local L.A. funders.