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Will Broad Patronize the Arts at LAUSD? Not Unless They Shape Up!

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Performing Arts School High School Tower.jpg
Artist's rendering of the LAUSD's new Performing Arts High School

Artist's rendering of the LAUSD's new Performing Arts High School
When MOCA found itself in financial trouble last year, Eli Broad was one of the first to offer up assistance. Now, the LA-based philanthropist has committed to contribute almost half a million dollars to help arts programs in public New York, according to the LA Times.

Broad is giving $425,000 to the Julliard School to help pay for "dozens of public school students to receive up to four years of free musical training." Seeing programs cut tugged at Broad's heartstrings, which inspired him to reach out with the financial aid. But many are wondering why Broad didn't do the same in his home city of Los Angeles instead of--or in addition to--helping kids in NYC. Part of the problem is that Broad "lacks confidence" in LAUSD non-charter schools, like the specialty arts high school due to open next school year in Downtown, "even though it still lacks an executive director, a permanent principal, a staff and an arts curriculum."

Broad has long been on board with the idea of the LAUSD creating a state-of-the-art arts school, but now thinks its management should be turned over to a non-profit organization, and that the opening be delayed at least a year so that the existing problems, and important vacancies, can be seen to. The wealthy patron of arts believes that if a school like this were well-run, it would find plenty of investors, including himself. LAUSD officials, in the meantime, are prepping for the fall opening of Central LA Area High School No. 9 and are not willing to relinquish control of the project.