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Angeles County | Community News File / Los Angeles

After-School Program Will Get State Funding

January 22, 1998

LA's BEST, a highly regarded after-school project that provides tutoring, sports and arts programs to 5,000 students at 24 Los Angeles elementary schools, will receive more than $1 million from the state Department of Education in the next school year, officials said.

The program was one of five statewide selected by the Education Department to receive funds from AB 326, a bill passed in October that provides $3.5 million for literacy-based activities, said Carla Sanger, LA's BEST president.

The award, which totals $1,087,182, could not have come at a better time for LA's BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow). Because of a change in state law, the organization will no longer receive money from the city's Community Redevelopment Agency, which has covered most of its operating budget since the program was established by Mayor Tom Bradley in 1988. About 25% of the LA's BEST budget comes from private donations.

Despite vows by Mayor Richard Riordan and other officials to keep LA's BEST running, the future of the program seemed in doubt in September when it became clear that the CRA money would dry up at the end of the fiscal year in June.

LA's BEST must still raise $1.5 million to meet its $3.3-million budget for the 1998-1999 school year, officials said.

"I am confident that the political will exists to keep this program going," Sanger said.

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