Increasing access to quality education is one of the five key components of LISC's Building Sustainable Communities, a comprehensive strategy guided by the premise that people, not just places, must prosper.
Across the country, local LISC offices and their community partners are supporting a wide range of activities – tailored to local needs and conditions – to improve the quality of educational opportunities available in underserved neighborhoods. LISC is responding to the demands of our neighborhoods in two ways: providing facility financing to charter schools and support to our Local Program Offices to expand access to high-quality education programs.
Educational Facilities Financing Center
Access to high-quality public education sets the foundation for a healthy neighborhood. Yet, attaining sufficient facilities stands as the biggest hurdle for new and existing public charter schools. With initial support from the Walton Family Foundation, LISC established the Educational Facilities Financing Center (EFFC) in 2003 to undertake a three-pronged approach to addressing the facilities challenge.
Click here for a brief overview of the EFFC.
Over the last three years, LISC has expanded its work in education beyond facilities development to include programs that more directly impact learning. We have supported after-school enrichment activities, parent engagement initiatives and programs to remove non-academic barriers to learning. We have also become involved in service-learning in order to provide students with a real-world context for learning through curriculum-based service projects.
In 2011, LISC launched a new initiative to support its Local Program Offices with national expertise in developing high-quality education programs to impact learning more directly in its Sustainable Communities sites. In addition to the existing education work at the local level, Education Initiatives will initially assist local program offices to develop out-of-school time(OST) programs in collaboration with community groups, schools and national OST providers.
Together, these activities have helped to improve educational opportunities in underserved communities and built the foundation for continued collaboration between community development stakeholders and local schools.
Vice President, Education Programs: Reena Bhatia