Dr. Dre is working with fellow industry legend Jimmy Iovine to provide teens in the South Los Angeles area with access to educations that will cater to their personal interests in hopes of fostering future generations of entrepreneurs and creators.
The plans by the Death Row Records co-founder, 56, and Iovine, 68, for the public school, currently being referred to as Regional High School No. 1, were recently greenlit by the L.A. Board of Education. The school is set to welcome its inaugural classes in fall 2022.
Following a similar model to their already successful USC Iovine and Young Academy, Regional High School No. 1 will offer a cutting-edge curriculum and focus on “multidisciplinary, hands-on learning, with a strong emphasis on real-world projects with top companies and non-profits,” according to a school district press release. The school will reportedly launch with a capacity of up to 124 students, with plans to eventually expand to 250,
The music moguls promise to “do and spend whatever is necessary” to make the school, which is planned to be stationed at Audubon Middle School in Leimert Park, “successful and sought after,” according to the L.A. Times.
Dre hopes that the school will provide “something new and different” to the predominantly Black and Latinx teens in the area that are plagued by lower academic achievement. “No kid wants to go to school,” he told the newspaper. “Because it’s boring. You keep flipping the same thing over and over and over again, year after year, with the same curriculum, the same teachers.”
“This is something new and different that might excite the kids and make them want to go to school,” he added.
Interscope Records co-founder Iovine, who was interviewed alongside Dre, noted that although he and Dre are funding the educational institution, it is “nowhere near a music school.” It will be a magnet school, however, which means that students from across the school district could apply to attend.
“This is for kids who want to go out and start their own company or go work at a place … like Marvel, or Apple or companies like that,” said Iovine.
Dr. Dre hopes that their efforts will help them reach “the inner-city kid, the younger me,” and while surprised at the educational turn his career has taken, he’s proud to have the opportunity to give back.
“I had no idea this is where my life and career was gonna go, and everything that I’ve been doing throughout my career … was gonna lead to this, all those things a stepping stone to get here,” he remarked. “Is this what it’s supposed to be? The, you know, the Big Bang? Hopefully, it is.”
L.A. schools Superintendent Austin Beutner fully supports the funding of the magnet high school and noted its potential to end up being “the coolest high school in America.” He also expressed the district’s commitment to finding “new, better, and more engaging programs.”
“This new partnership with Jimmy, Dr. Dre, and the USC Iovine and Young Academy will help open the doors of opportunity for students, in particular, Black and Latino children, from communities which have been historically underserved,” Beutner said in a statement. “Much like the work of the Academy, this effort will help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
The L.A. Unified district is the second-largest school system in the country and Dre and Iovine’s magnet school marked one of 10 approved by the board in June.