Joined by parents and students at Leland Elementary School in San Pedro, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled a new program that will help deliver essential resources to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students whose parents or guardians are either veterans or active-duty service members.
Through a new collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, LAUSD, the University of Southern California’s Building Capacity Project and the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative, the school district will now immediately, upon enrollment, identify students from military families by adding a few simple questions to the district’s mandatory student emergency information forms.
“For too long our city has been unable to strategically target resources in a way that directly and efficiently supports our military community,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This small change will radically increase our capacity to support veterans and their families as they adjust to life during and after military service.”
LAUSD is the largest school district in the nation to take this important step on behalf of military families. The data collected on the emergency forms will help district and school officials direct critical services and apply for new federal funding for campuses with high enrollment among military and veteran-connected families.
Military and veteran-connected students can experience high levels of stress, and research shows that they are at an increased risk for substance abuse, weapon carrying, victimization by peers, and thoughts of suicide. While the new questions only take up a single line of space on the emergency form, they will help families quickly access critical services — including recreational opportunities, tutoring resources, and advocacy assistance.