In order to support an additional 30 local educational agencies, nonprofits, and other public or private organisations and higher education institutions working to expand community schools, the U.S. Department of Education today announced nearly $74 million in new, five-year Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grants. These grants will also be made in four new states: Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio. Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education, will highlight this announcement during today’s FSCS visit to Idaho.
“What parents and families across the nation have told me is confirmed by these new investments. More funding will strengthen community partnerships and provide children and families with access to essential resources that address their whole-person needs. Secretary Cardona stated, “We are aware that comprehensive, wrap-around approaches—such as nutrition support, mental health services, early childhood education, and access to top-notch after-school summer learning and enrichment programs—are essential for hastening our students’ academic progress and their recovery from the pandemic by enabling them to thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. “As an evidence-based strategy to Raise the Bar in Education and to deliver on our commitment to support students, families, and entire communities, I am proud that the Biden-Harris Administration is expanding the number of community schools across the nation.”
This investment continues the Department’s long history of promoting academic achievement, increasing access to mental health and other healthcare services, fostering strong family engagement and community partnerships, and assisting educational institutions in giving children and families the tools they require to succeed.
According to research, fostering a positive learning environment and providing students with essential services like mental, dental, vision, and nutritional support are essential for hastening their academic recovery. When all of their needs are satisfied, students perform better academically, attend class more frequently, and show greater engagement in the classroom.
Full-Service Community Schools have received five times more funding under the Biden-Harris administration, going from $25 million in 2020 to $150 million in 2023. Community schools coordinate and deliver services like health care, mental health and nutrition services, after-school and summer programming, and high-quality early learning programmes in partnership with neighbourhood non-profits, health providers, private partners, and other agencies.
“When I was in graduate school, I worked for a time as a teacher at Conte Community School in Connecticut where I saw firsthand how programmes that meet the needs of the whole child support the development of social and emotional skills, promote academic success, and improve overall wellbeing,” stated House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro in a statement. Funding for full-service community schools was one of my top priorities during my four years as Chair of the Labour, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee. I was proud to expand the programme nearly tenfold, from $17.5 million in fiscal year 2019 to $150 million in fiscal year 2023.
I’m excited to collaborate with the Biden-Harris administration in upcoming budgets to uphold and increase these investments.”
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