CA Department of Education Grants Will Help ICEF Enroll 1 in 5 South L.A. Students by 2020
ICEF Press Release
Los Angeles, CA – ICEF Public Schools — a charter school organization that serves the predominately African-American community of South Los Angeles — today announced that it has been awarded $2.1 million to support its effort to produce 2,000 annual college graduates from its “Education Corridor” in South Los Angeles.
The awards, issued by the Public Charter Schools Grant Program of the California Department of Education, will help ICEF scale up its Education Corridor — the 45-square-mile region bound by the four major South Los Angeles freeways — through the creation of 22 new public charter schools.
The grants, including $600,000 each to the Frederick Douglass Academy Elementary and the Lou Dantzler Preparatory Charter Elementary School, and $450,000 each to the ICEF Vista Middle Academy and ICEF Vista Elementary Academy, will fund opening new public charters and increasing enrollment at ICEF's schools.
"We’re please that the California Department of Education has awarded us these generous grants," said Michael D. Piscal, founder of ICEF Public Schools. "Through the creation of the Education Corridor, ICEF will create as many high-performing public schools as it takes to prepare enough of our youth to compete and succeed at the top 100 colleges and universities in our nation. Our goal is to eventually produce 2,000 college graduates each year from South Los Angeles."
Fewer than 10 percent of all incoming high school freshmen within the Education Corridor receive their college diplomas. The dropout rate for existing public high schools in this region is more than 50 percent, a trend ICEF Public Schools intends to reverse.
ICEF Public Schools in October announced plans to expand from 13 to 35 public charter schools in four years. When fully enrolled, ICEF Public Schools will enroll one in four public school students in South Los Angeles, including more than half of the community’s high school students, and will help produce 2,000 college graduates each year. ICEF’s expansion plans will serve to alleviate its incredible demand: The waitlist to enroll has at times exceeded 6,000 students.
ICEF’s "Education Corridor" plan will uniquely concentrate all its efforts on a defined geographic region that is one of the nation’s most underserved communities. Also, unlike most charter schools, ICEF’s schools, which begin with kindergarten and go up to high school, will focus on educating students beginning with the first day they enroll in school through graduation.
ICEF’s 13 public charter schools, including its three flagship View Park Preparatory charter schools, serve more than 3,000 students. Its track record of success for African-American students includes two graduating classes, with every single graduate accepted to a college or four-year university. None of the students who began their ninth grade with ICEF – which features a rigorous academic program – dropped out of high school. Out of every Los Angeles public high school, View Park Prep most significantly outperforms its nearby high schools serving predominantly African-American students.
About ICEF Public Schools
ICEF Public Schools (Pronounced “Eye-ceff,” for the Inner City Education Foundation) was founded in 1994 to transform the Los Angeles community by creating first-rate educational opportunities for its minority youth. ICEF currently operates 13 public charter schools, including four new schools which opened this fall, with the goal of preparing its students to attend and compete academically at the top colleges and universities in the nation. ICEF’s flagship school, View Park Prep, has now graduated two classes, with 100 percent of its graduates accepted to college.