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Hoyer Legislation Would Provide Grants to Build Community-School Partnerships
WASHINGTON, DC- Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) joined the Coalition for Community Schools this morning to honor schools and communities that are leaders in utilizing the community school concept to strengthen student learning and enhance family services. As he recognized the honorees, Rep. Hoyer said he hoped to add momentum to the community schools movement with his Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007 (HR 2323; S. 1391), legislation he is sponsoring with Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) to expand the number of full-service community schools which partner with community-based organizations, and state and local resources to provide a full menu of services for students and families.
“Education is often referred to as the ‘great equalizer in a democratic society,’ but classroom education is only a piece of the puzzle when it comes to ensuring that all children succeed,” stated Rep. Hoyer. “The schools and communities honored today recognize that and have taken an innovative ‘big picture’ approach to educating America’s children by coordinating community-based partnerships that expand the services for children and families. I am strongly supportive of these initiatives and am proud to have introduced, along with Senator Ben Nelson, the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007 to encourage these crucial partnerships and ensure the best use of resources to help children learn and communities thrive.”
Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of support and opportunities to children, families and communities. Rep. Hoyer’s Full-Service Community Schools Act would make grants available to local partnerships between schools and community-based organizations, in addition to state collaboratives, for purposes of coordinating educational and social service programs at a full-service school site.
These services may include: early childhood programs; literacy/reading programs for youth and families; parenting education activities; community service training; job training/career counseling services; nutrition services; primary health and dental care; and mental health preventive and treatment services. The legislation would authorize $200 million for Fiscal Year 2008, with 75 percent of the funds allocated for local grants, 20 percent to state grants, and the remaining funds used for technical assistance and evaluation.
The 2007 Recipients of the Community Schools National Awards for Excellence are listed below. The awards ceremony was followed by a policy discussion led by award winners focused on the results they are achieving for young people, their families and their communities. The 100 attendees included teachers, principals, community school organizers, and superintendents.
Fair Street Academy [Gainsville, GA; (Deal)]
Carlin Springs Elementary [Arlington, VA; (Moran)]
Sayre High School [Philadelphia, (Fattah)]
Independence Schools (Independence, MO; (Cleaver)]
Tukwila Community Schools (Tukwila, WA; McDermott, Smith)
SUN Community Schools (Portland, OR; Hooley)
For more information see the one-page summary of the Full Service Community Schools Act of 2007.