Above, Superintendent Michelle King and UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl add their signatures to the L.A. Compact.

Superintendent Michelle King addresses government, business and community leaders gathered in the library of RFK Community Schools.
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Superintendent Michelle King addresses government, business and community leaders gathered in the library of RFK Community Schools.

Los Angeles Unified leaders joined Wednesday with top officials from local government, business, labor and civic organizations in signing the L.A. Compact, an agreement that focuses on collaborative strategies to help students succeed in the classroom and beyond.

School Board President Steve Zimmer, Superintendent Michelle King and Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the dignitaries who signed the commitment to support all students in graduating from high school with the knowledge and skills they will need to compete in college and the workforce.

“Today’s signing of the L.A. Compact affirms a community-wide collaboration to provide Los Angeles students with access to a world-class public education from pre-kindergarten through graduation,” King said. “We are stronger united, and I am proud to be part of this powerful movement.”

Zimmer said the Compact reinforces the message that public education is the key to developing the next generation of leaders.

“It is a good day when so many of the critical players in education in Los Angeles can stand together, arm in arm, signing on to a plan with clear goals and measures that will ensure that we work together in supporting a new generations of students from the earliest years all the way to sustainable jobs and careers,” he said.

Los Angeles County Superintendent Debra Duardo, who formerly headed the District’s Student Health and Human Services, joined United Teachers Los Angeles President Alex Caputo-Pearl as new signers of the Compact. The ceremony was held in the library of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, where the historic Ambassador Hotel once stood.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, listens as School Board President talks about his hopes for District students.
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Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, listens as School Board President talks about his hopes for District students.

“As a union representing 33,000 educators, and as an organization committed to the struggle for social and educational justice, UTLA is excited to join the LA Compact,” Caputo-Pearl said. “Together, we can build toward the vision of high-quality schools serving students of all ages, and acting as hubs in empowered communities.”

Since its formation in 2010, the L.A. Compact has grown from 19 to 24 community partners. They have collaborated on a number of initiatives, including L.A. College Promise, a landmark project to provide a year’s free tuition to District graduates who attend Los Angeles Community College District campuses. The Compact has been working to launch the initiative for the Class of 2017.

Among those who signed the Compact on Wednesday were Los Angeles Community College District Chancellor Dr. Francisco Rodriguez,  Associated Administrators of Los Angeles President Juan Flecha, Cal State L.A. President Dr. William Covino, First 5 L.A. Executive Director Kim Belshé, and David Rattray, executive vice president of Education and Workforce Development for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

“The success and well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility: the school district and City Hall, business and labor, the private sector and nonprofits, and educators at all levels working together,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The L.A. Compact puts our complete collaboration into action — by committing us to giving all of our students the tools and resources they need to maximize their potential, achieve in the classroom, and follow their dreams.”