LOS ANGELES – The Board of Education took another step Tuesday toward partnering with the city of Los Angeles on a plan that allows L.A. Unified students to begin saving for education expenses.
The board approved, by unanimous vote, the nation’s second-largest school district to develop over the next six months a plan with Los Angeles Councilmember David Ryu, who spoke during the board meeting, the L.A. Chamber of Commerce and possibly other partners. The board directed the collective effort to present a progress report early next year during a public board meeting.
The exploratory plan delves into providing a children’s savings account for every District student, and to increase financial literacy among students. The goal: to ensure that college expenses are not a barrier for students, while giving them more incentive to complete their college education. Board President Steve Zimmer and Board Members Dr. Ref Rodriguez and Mónica García brought the resolution to the board.
“This is a critical moment for aspiring dreamers and working families of Los Angeles who deserve the opportunity to go to college unencumbered by exorbitant costs,” said Board President Zimmer. “I am grateful to my colleagues for their support in allowing exploration of this important partnership with the city of Los Angeles, and excited about the possibility of following in the footsteps of other government municipalities, like the cities of St. Louis and San Francisco, which have proven that this is an essential step in supporting students and their families, as they look forward to entering college.
“I look forward to working with the Office of Councilman David Ryu and the city of Los Angeles to present a plan to make this a reality in the city of Los Angeles for every student of the Los Angeles Unified School District.”
Board Member García said for the district, and its partners to continue investing in students is critical.
“We applaud Councilmember Ryu’s leadership and partnership in our movement towards 100 percent graduation in Los Angeles,” said School Board Member García. “We must continue to invest in every child in Los Angeles, with our beliefs, with our dollars, and our willingness to collaborate to make sure our graduates are ready for their first day in college.”
Enrolling more students into college, regardless of their financial ability, improves opportunity and strengthens the Los Angeles economy, Councilmember Ryu said.
“Over the last 50 years, policies that have increased access to higher education, from the G.I. Bill to student aid, have not only lifted millions out of poverty, but have also boosted economic growth,” he said. “Narrowing the gaps in college participation and increasing financial opportunity across income groups is vital to the success of our city. This is an opportunity for all families, no matter their background or socioeconomic status, to turn aspirations for higher education into reality.”
###Contact: Daryl Strickland (213) 241-6766