Recent Public Policy graduate Karissa Yee wasted little time in making a big splash at her new job.
Yee, who earned a master’s of public policy in 2011, helped the Los Angeles Unified School District receive a grant that could total $50 million over the next five years.
The San Francisco native, who is a program and policy development specialist at LAUSD, helped write the proposal for the grant which will help provide support and development opportunities for teachers at high need schools.
Yee’s work ensured that LAUSD is one of just 35 districts nationwide to receive the grant from the US Department of Education. The Teacher Incentive Fund grant helps “incentivize great teaching,” said Yee, who noted that LAUSD is looking at “improving human capital in the school systeam and these type of compensation are done within the context of having professional development.”
“When the opportunity came about,” Yee said, “the talent management division took a lead on writing this particular grant about improving human capital and teaching and learning. LAUSD has a large number of high need schools and we’re definitely meeting that need.”
Yee was one of three Bohnett Fellows at UCLA Luskin in 2011  and served her fellowship in the Mayor’s Office of Education, “which really helped give me exposure to the topics and issues in the LAUSD, which led me to pursuing this work now.”
The district will receive $16 million in the first two years under the terms of the grant, but that number could swell to $50 million over five years.
“It’s going to accelerate our work on education effectiveness,” Yee said. “We’re excited about the way we’re thinking of using the teacher incentive piece of it. We’re taking advantage of new opportunities in the grant to build career ladders. And, we’re providing professional development to (teachers).”