- Los Angeles Unified School District
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves Resolution to Increase Post-Secondary Planning and Access to Financial Aid (10-26-21)
Contact: Ally Salvaria, Communications Director
Phone: (818) 726-6151
L.A. Unified Board of Education Unanimously Approves Resolution to
Increase Post-Secondary Planning and Access to Financial Aid
LOS ANGELES, CA – October 26, 2021 – The L.A. Unified Board of Education voted today to unanimously approve Board Vice President Nick Melvoin’s resolution to achieve the District’s goal of all graduating students completing a post-graduation plan and college financial aid application to set them up for success after high school.
The resolution—co-sponsored by Board members Tanya Ortiz Franklin, Mónica García, Student Board member Parishi Kanuga, and Board President Kelly Gonez—will increase resources and collaboration to implement a new State requirement for 100% of students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA) or, if a student is undocumented, the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). This will help L.A. Unified families, approximately 80% of whom are living in poverty, to overcome the financial burden of college, a primary barrier to entry in higher education.
“Our goal is for every student not only to leave high school with a diploma, but also with a clear plan and path to success once they step into that next phase,” said Melvoin. “We want to ensure that every door is open to our students so that they can choose which one to walk through.”
The resolution also aims to increase individual post-graduation planning resources and development so that L.A. Unified graduates leave high school prepared to enter the college or career of their choice. This includes a new planning component that starts in 8th grade to get kids thinking about, and preparing for, college and career success before they reach high school.
“At L.A. Unified, we are committed not just to ensuring all our students graduate, but that they graduate ready for success in college and careers,” said Gonez. “Today’s Board action will help more of our students get the supports they need, starting in pre-K all the way through 12th grade, to achieve their post-graduation goals.”
"A good education should not be a privilege, but an opportunity afforded to all," said Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly. "As we work together as a community to recover from the inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we increase access to college for all of our high school graduates. Los Angeles Unified stands ready to support this board resolution to help students get into college and receive financial aid.”
“Schools should serve as the hub for centralizing resources and be the go-to place where students and families can learn about all of the avenues available to them for pursuing post-secondary education or training,” said Board member Dr. George J. McKenna III.
"We must continue to learn about our students and their plans for graduation and beyond," García said. "We believe in our students' abilities and in the district's ability to increase levels of support for graduation and beyond!"
“In light of the hardships families faced during the global pandemic, students had to rely on the district for extra resources and supports in order to improve their educational experiences and be on track towards graduation,” said Board member Scott Schmerelson. “I’m glad that we are working collaboratively with community partners to provide a plan so that every Los Angeles Unified student can achieve their post-graduation dreams and be successful.”
“Every child who comes through L.A. Unified should be equipped to pursue higher education and prepared for success in a career,” said Board member Jackie Goldberg. “That’s the goal for all, not some. Today, we look to remove some of the financial barriers to higher education. Assisting with Financial Aid completion is one such tool, especially to guide those young people facing greater obstacles because of economics or race. Our job as educators, families, and communities is to help kids dream bigger about what’s possible for their futures, teach them to prepare diligently, and cheer them on to success.”
“For too long, public institutions and systemic oppression have decided which students get to go college and which don’t. Today’s resolution represents our shared commitment in L.A. Unified to creating a system that prepares all students to make the college choice for themselves,” Ortiz Franklin said. “I am excited that all of our scholars will have intentional time, space and support for post-graduation goal setting and financial planning, to ensure they thrive in their post-secondary journeys and beyond.”
Nick Melvoin is proud to serve the dynamic communities of District 4 as Vice President of the LA Unified Board of Education. Nick’s election to the Board in May of 2017 follows a career fighting for our city’s schoolchildren. He believes that together, with the right leadership, we can ensure that every student in Los Angeles has the opportunity to succeed. Board District 4 stretches westward from Hollywood to the ocean, and from Westchester up to the Northwest San Fernando Valley.
If you would like more information about this topic, please call Ally Salvaria at 818-726-6151 or email at Ally.Salvaria@LAUSD.net.