Dear Preschool Supporter:
As you know, today's difficult economic times are taking a heavy toll on non-profit organizations across the country, with funding challenges being the norm, not the exception.
LAUP has been facing financial uncertainty, because First 5 LA, our primary funder, stands to lose $424 million as a result of the state's action to shift $1 billion in Proposition 10 funding from First 5 commissions statewide to balance the budget.
Although First 5 LA will challenge the state's decision in court, there was uncertainty whether LAUP's budget for fiscal year 2012 would be affected as a result of First 5 LA's possible loss of funding.
I am happy to report that on May 12, the First 5 LA Commission unanimously approved LAUP's annual budget of nearly $60 million for fiscal year 2012. This is great news for our organization, as it will enable us to continue serving more than 10,000 children, and maintain our current network of more than 300 providers.
This is a testament to LAUP's commitment and success in serving the children of Los Angeles County, providing them with a quality preschool education that is better preparing them to succeed in school and in life.
The fact that First 5 LA approved our budget in full despite the uncertainty over its future funding is a vote of confidence to the great benefits children are receiving from the LAUP program.
When it comes to our long-term sustainability, LAUP will continue to identify new funding sources, as well as work with our providers to ensure a fair and stable funding stream.
We will also continue investigating the feasibility of launching a voter initiative in the coming years, to ensure guaranteed public funding for preschool education.
For now, however, we are grateful for the support of First 5 LA, and look forward to continuing to meet the early education needs of the children in Los Angeles County.
Celia C. Ayala, Ph.D.
CEO, Los Angeles Universal Preschool