LOS ANGELES (AP) — The incoming superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District said Thursday he is forming a new foundation to attract philanthropic donations to help fund the ailing school district.

The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education, based on a similar foundation in New York City, will allow donors to choose exactly what they wish their money to benefit, John Deasy announced during a speech at the Rand Institute in Santa Monica. The interest on investments in the fund will be used for various educational projects of the donors’ choice and donors will receive an annual report card on the social return of their investment, Deasy said.

The school district is facing a $400 million shortfall in its $6 billion operating budget for the next school year.

Deasy said when he’s asked philanthropists to consider donating to the LAUSD they tend to look at the public school district as a “black hole” in which their money will disappear. He felt earmarking donations for specific uses, such as science labs and various educational projects would be more attractive to donors.

Deasy said he’s also working on establishing in Los Angeles a West Coast branch of New York City’s Robin Hood Foundation, which raises millions of dollars for New York City schools. The West Coast branch would be called Robin Hood West.

The Robin Hood Foundation, established in 1988, focuses on poverty prevention through programs in early childhood, youth, education jobs and economic security, according to its website. It also funds basic survival programs in health care, hunger, housing and domestic violence.

Deasy will replace current Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who will retire April 15.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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