Fall 2020

Universal Pre-K in LAUSD



For the fall 2020 semester, our POSC 395 Policy Research Internship students researched how to enact a universal preschool program within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) for any 4-year-old, regardless of income. The group also researched different strategies to create teacher-only affordable housing to keep educators in their communities. They presented their extensive research and policy suggestions to our partner, LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin.

Stuart Jiang Carson, a senior majoring in International Relations, said this about his research experience, “I had the opportunity to participate in the universal pre-k research internship. The experience was incredibly fulfilling and gave me the opportunity to speak with policy makers, work within a group, and meaningfully tackle real-world issues. Not only have I learned more about universal pre-k, but I have also gained a much deeper understanding of the relevant challenges and stakeholders that policy makers must interact with in order to be successful and effectively serve their communities.”

Project: The Future of Universal Pre-K and Affordable Staff Housing in LAUSD

USC Students: Gloria Baek, Stuart Carson, Sarah Choi, Ashleigh Grindon, Alin Maimon, and Erica Noll

Research Question: How Can LAUSD Implement a Universal Preschool Program?

Universal Pre-K Policy Recommendations:

  • Targeted programs for Los Angeles County’s 4-year-olds that are rolled out over 5 years
  • Serve all four year old children within the relevant targeted region
  • Areas with the highest proportion of impoverished children will be served in first during years 1-3
  • Teacher pay should be at least 90% of LAUSD elementary school pay

Affordable Housing for Teachers Policy Recommendations:

  • Use of ground lease and partnerships with developers
  • Eligibility based on cost-burdened families
  • Rent duration (ie. Fixed rent costs and limitation in stay)

Read the group’s full research presentation.

Watch the video presentation on Universal Pre-K in LAUSD.