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Providing Greater Access, Cost Savings & Flexibility to Better Serve Children & Families
WASHINGTON, DC –House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) today introduced the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007 (HR 2323; S. 1391), a bill to expand the number of full-service community schools that coordinate educational and social service programs for students and families in collaboration with community-based organizations and public-private partnerships.
“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. “Full-service community schools take an innovative ‘big picture’ approach to educating America’s children by utilizing community-based public-private partnerships that provide for the seamless integration of academic, development, family, and health services to children and their families. I am proud to introduce the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007 along with Senator Ben Nelson to encourage these crucial partnerships and ensure the best use of resources to help children learn and families and communities thrive.”
The Full-Service Community Schools Act would make grants available to local partnerships between school districts and community-based organizations as well as 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; job training/career counseling services; nutrition services; primary health and dental care; and mental health preventive and treatment services.
“The Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007 will help schools become a one-stop-shop for the needs of students and families,” said Senator Nelson. “Community leaders, educators and parents will work together, using the additional resources provided by this legislation, to support enterprising instruction, public health, job training and overall community and parental engagement.”
Hoyer and Nelson’s 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 Act also specifies that grants may be allocated to state educational agencies that collaborate with at least two other state government agencies to plan, coordinate and expand the development of full-service community schools. Grants can also be used to provide technical assistance and training at full-service community schools as well as collect and evaluate data about their progress.
The legislation also creates an Advisory Committee, composed of representatives from the Departments of Justice, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Labor, to consult with the Secretary of Education on the development and implementation of full-service community schools. The committee will identify strategies to improve the coordination of federal programs that are part of full-service community schools, consult with local and state grantees, and issue an annual report to Congress.
For more information see the one-page summary of the Full Service Community Schools Act of 2007.