Superintendent Terry Walker, board President Betty Carroll and students thank Irvine Company Vice President Jeff Davis, left, for this year’s $2 million gift.

Irvine Co. donates $2 million to IUSD

by TOM BERG

Irvine Company recently presented its 14th $2 million check to the Irvine Unified School District for its Excellence in Education Enrichment program.

“This is truly a unique partnership,” Irvine Unified School Board President Betty Carroll said of the company’s 20-year commitment to the district. “This puts children first and continues to support a bright future for IUSD students.”

In 2006, Irvine Company began partnering with IUSD to fill a funding gap in providing art, music and science teachers to every fourth through sixth grader in the district.

The program has helped provide nearly 100,000 elementary students with classes usually available only to secondary students.

Instruction includes two one-hour science lessons per week, two 40-minute music lessons per week, and six one-hour art lessons per year – all taught by highly specialized instructors.

As a result, IUSD students outperform their peers in California – and the nation – in many of these subjects.

Irvine Unified School District Science Teacher of the Year Alison Garza works with fourth graders at Stonegate Elementary.

In 2019 Advanced Placement tests, IUSD students surpassed other California students in chemistry by 33%; in music theory by 24%; and in studio art drawing by 30%.

“The Irvine Company’s donation has enabled IUSD to preserve and increase opportunities in subjects that are critical for success in college and career,” Superintendent Terry Walker said.

The benefit of this gift to elementary school students also is evident in the classes they choose in high school. IUSD high school students enroll in visual-arts classes 94% more often than other California students; and they enroll in music classes 178% more often than other California students.

“Despite the state’s funding formula that places our district at the bottom in per-pupil funding in California, IUSD continues to deliver on its promise of academic excellence,” Walker said, “thanks in large part to the generosity of Irvine Company and its Chairman, Donald Bren.”

Orange County Business Journal’s 2019 list of top corporate contributions ranked Irvine Company’s annual $2 million gift to IUSD as the fifth-largest in the county last year.


The results are in: Partnership Benefits Students

In 2006, Irvine Company began partnering with IUSD to fill the funding gap in providing art, music and science teachers to every fourth through sixth grader in the district. As a result of this and other IUSD initiatives, Irvine students score higher on Advanced Placement tests across many subjects.