Connectingla White

Education in Los Angeles


What Can I Do?

L.A.’s County’s prosperity depends on future generations and a well-educated workforce, but all too often, lack access to quality learning experiences. 

Support these organizations working to end the dropout crisis in L.A. and help prepare students for college.

CCF’s Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund

CCF and the College Futures Foundation, along with investors across Los Angeles and the country, have committed more than $15 million to establish the Los Angeles Scholars Investment Fund in order to address this impending crisis. Acting as part high-performing mutual fund, part innovation incubator, LASIF combines multi-year scholarships with additional support and resources proven to help students graduate.

Here’s the Situation

The education pipeline begins at birth and continues through all levels of school and right into the workforce. This is where the next generation acquires the tools they need to become the artists, educators, entrepreneurs, scientists and community leaders of tomorrow. Unfortunately, too many are getting lost along the way.

  • Children who attend a quality preschool score up to 40 percent higher on academic tests, yet less than half of low-income 3- and 4- year olds attend a publicly funded early learning program.
  • Nearly 30% of students in Los Angeles won’t finish high school. Students who drop out are eight times more likely to become incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed.
  • Los Angeles County is home to one-quarter of all school-age youth in our state and is one of the most diverse student populations. 
  • Just one in five students enrolled in a public university in L.A. Count will graduate from the institution in four years, rising to 56 percent in six years.
  • Every student who graduates from college can generate an additional $1 million dollars in lifetime earnings.
  • Los Angeles County is home to some of the world’s highest-ranked universities and colleges, yet it is failing to produce the number of college graduates needed to sustain and grow its own economy. The result is a projected shortfall of 2.3 million degree holders over the next decade that threatens the economic future of the region.

Where Do We Go From Here?

By focusing on key transitions and milestones across the educational pipeline, from school readiness and early reading to college readiness, we can best focus our resources and impact.

Early Childhood Education

High quality education for children before Kindergarten impacts development and helps establish a positive foundation for learning. Children in low income families are less likely to be enrolled in preschool than their peers. In the U.S., forty percent of 3 and 4 year olds in low-income families are enrolled in preschool, compared with 56 percent of children in more affluent households. In California, only one in seven children who are eligible for subsidized childcare services are receiving them. Helping families get access to early childhood education is critical to ensuring that students are provided with the foundation for a successful educational career.

Early Intervention

Research shows that students who are at the highest-risk to drop out can be identified as early as sixth grade by three early warning signs: poor attendance, behavior, and failing math and English courses. Providing targeted assistance, like tutoring and mentorship, to students who demonstrate those risk factors is effective in keeping students on track to graduate.

College Preparedness and Access

Ensuring that students have the support and resources to apply to, pay for and succeed in college is essential. While scholarships are a key component of college access, students also need college counseling, mentoring, test prep, college tours and college-completion assistance.