Strong Support for the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014

For Immediate Release:

July 23, 2014

Contact:

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) introduced the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014, legislation to expand the full-service community schools model across the country. Full-service community schools are public elementary or secondary schools that coordinate a wide range of social services to students and their families, such as:

  • Primary health and dental care;
  • Mental health and counseling services;
  • Nutrition services;
  • Mentoring;
  • And adult education, job training, and career counseling services for parents.

By housing these resources together under one roof, full-service community schools help ensure that social services are delivered more efficiently and effectively. That’s why Whip Hoyer and Rep Schock are co-sponsoring this bipartisan legislation, which will:

  • Create a competitive grant program to expand the number of full-service community schools;
  • Set aside dedicated funding for rural applicants because the full-service community schools model can be particularly effective in rural areas; and,
  • Create an advisory committee with representatives from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consult with the Secretary of Education to improve the coordination of federal programs and issue an annual report to Congress.

Endorsed by over 30 organizations, the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014 enjoys broad support. Here’s a look at what organizations have to say about how the full-service community schools model will ensure that more students succeed in the classroom and that more parents are prepared to support their children’s learning: 

Martin Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools:

“We are thrilled at the leadership of Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Schock to introduce this bill together, as they recognize the success of community schools in their districts. This bipartisan effort reflects the collaborative nature of community schools to bring all kinds of community stakeholders together to make the school the hub of the community and help young people succeed. This bill also adds to a national momentum toward community schools that brought over 1,500 people to our 2014 forum in Cincinnati, saw the number of places operating community schools triple in the past seven years, and saw states like New Mexico, Connecticut, Tennessee and New York passing legislation or approving funding to explicitly support community schools. We are thankful for the federal support and leadership to elevate and accelerate this work.” 

Randi Weingarten, President of American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO:

“Community schools are a tangible, effective way to address the fact that poverty matters, and that it especially matters in our schools and for students’ success. The community school movement—and the variety of ways it engages parents and provides an array of services to children and families—helps level the playing field to ensure students have the opportunity to learn. That is why the AFT and our locals have worked hard to promote community schools, and it’s why we wholeheartedly support this bill. It is a quintessential example of solution-driven unionism and community-driven reform.”

Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus:

“Our nation needs, and our children should have, a comprehensive approach to education. This important proposal eliminates a blind-spot in federal education policy, recognizing that what happens outside the classroom affects what happens inside the classroom.”

Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of Trust for America’s Health:

“The Full-Service Community Schools Act is important for the nation’s health and wealth because it will expand the number of full-service community schools, which connect students and families to community organizations that can offer primary, dental and mental health care, literacy help and career counseling, among other services. In so doing, students will be healthier, do better in school and be happier and more productive.”

Joseph Bishop, PhD, Executive Director, Opportunity Action:

“This groundbreaking legislation represents a necessary shift to a whole-child, whole-community agenda for public education, a vision mostly lacking from today’s education policy landscape.  It recognizes that successful school-community partnerships with significant federal investments can address the academic, social, emotional and health needs of each and every child.”  

Click here to read the PDF.

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