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Smith leaving United Way LA to join Education Trust-West

LA School Report | September 5, 2014

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Ryan Smith United Way LA

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith, whose work as Director of Education Programs and Policy for United Way of Greater Los Angeles helped improve the educational prospects for students of color and those living in poverty, is leaving his post to become executive director of Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based non-profit focused on many of the same objectives.

In his two years at United Way, Smith helped realign education strategy in Los Angeles to increase the role of parents and community groups in shaping education policy.

He was especially active in the work of Communities for Los Angeles Student Success — a coalition of community groups known as CLASS — advocating for an equitable distribution of the new funds coming into LA United through the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). CLASS now includes 60 community organizations.

He also worked to push the LA Unified school board to include a student member, an innovation that is currently in the planning stage.

In his new position, he said, “I hope to expand the work we’ve been doing in LA.”

After spending several weeks at Ed Trust’s national headquarters in Washington, Smith said he plans to move to Oakland and start his new job in early November.

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