Advancing deeper collaboration between schools and communities to disrupt inequity and meet the needs of today’s diverse learners across Los Angeles County.
The Greater LA Education Foundation (Greater LA) is the philanthropic arm of the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). LACOE serves 2 million students and families working with 80 different districts and superintendents. Our story began with Friends of LACOE who has worked to provide resources for comprehensive educational services, including supportive learning environments and specialized instruction. Seeking to increase collective problem-solving and innovative solutions for today’s complex learning environment, Greater LA was formed in 2019.
Greater LA expands the impact of LACOE, the largest county office of education in the nation, by engaging a diverse range of partners to navigate countywide and local complexities. By fostering systems-level innovation, building cross-sector partnerships, and encouraging creative problem-solving, the Greater LA team tackles some of LA County’s greatest educational equity challenges. The foundation understands that no one entity– whether it be philanthropic, private or nonprofit– can alone address the distinct needs of LA County students, families, educators and leaders.
In 2019, the Board of the Friends of LACOE, and numerous philanthropic partners, made a strategic investment and intentionally restructured this supporting organization to build the Greater LA Education Foundation. The Board hired Dr. John Garcia to lead the vision of the Board and Foundation and launch the Foundation in early 2020.
OUR CORE BELIEFS
Greater LA believes that it must prioritize the following 4 core beliefs to have the greatest impact in supporting education systems in preparing LA County students for success in college, career and beyond!
Data is a valuable asset for making change.
Collaboration creates trust and understanding.
We can all contribute to innovation in children’s education.
Everyone’s voice has value and the impact we can have together.
HOW WE WORK
Collect, analyze and make learning from data accessible to districts, families and partners.
Convene and network districts to share knowledge and implement collective solutions.
Strengthen and/or develop partnerships between districts, county and public agencies, families and communities to design collective impact solutions.
Advocate and offer culturally and contextually relevant policy solutions to solve local, state and common issues.
Do you pull funds from an endowment, or how do you raise public support?
Greater LA counts on the support of numerous philanthropic partners to fund our work. Part of our plan includes expanding the ways we support our key investment areas.
Are you a nonprofit or a foundation?
Greater LA is a nonprofit organization granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS; it is a public benefit corporation.
When did the foundation start?
Originally created as the Friends of LACOE in 2015, the board of directors along with several philanthropic partners made a decision to restructure the organization in 2019 and form the Greater LA Education Foundation.
How is Greater LA different from Friends of LACOE?
Greater LA will expand on the work of FOL by developing strategic initiatives, identifying public/private partnerships and creating greater connections with community stakeholders to support innovation at LACOE, share knowledge, and advocate for impact.
Being the philanthropic arm of LACOE - does that mean you just support LACOE projects?
Greater LA works in alignment with LACOE and we also explore additional projects in very specific areas to support the overall goals of our strategic plan.
Who oversees Greater LA?
Greater LA is governed by a non-profit 501(c)(3) board. LACOE’s superintendent and one LACOE board member are part of the board member team.