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July Newsletter 2014

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Vol. XI Issue 5 July 2014

In this Issue
 Support a Great Cause!

Support Amy Scott’s Oyler:  a documentary film! Scott’s
series on Marketplace helped to lift up the Community Schools movement.

Let’s help her lift up the Oyler story and complete her film!

Events & Highlights

2SAVE THE DATE october 15-17Fundamentals 2

Job and Funding Opportunities

Community schools initiatives building ties to the early childhood community will want to take a look at this funding opportunity!

If you are interested in posting a job, please reach out to Heather Naviasky.

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Expand Community Schools


The Coalition for Community Schools and its nearly 200 partners applauded the leadership of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) for their bipartisan introduction of the Full Service Community Schools Act in the House in a press release issued last week.

Mr. Hoyer has been a longstanding champion for community schools, having introduced this bill in every Congressional session since 2005. Mr. Schock has seen first-hand the positive impact of the three full-service community schools in his district in Peoria, IL. Find their comments from the House floor, here, along with media coverage of the bill.

But what does this mean for you? The introduction of this Act means policy makers are once again taking notice of the value of community schools. Let’s continue to push the needle forward on ensuring every child has every chance of success. Please use this action alert to ask your Representative to cosponsor this important bill!

Tennessee and West Virginia Approve Community Schools Policies

Tennessee and West Virginia are the latest states to join New Mexico, Connecticut, New York and Washington, D.C. that have approved policies or funding to explicitly support community schools since 2013.

In May, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the Tennessee Community Schools Act. Introduced by Rep. Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, a special education teacher, and by state Sen. Lowe Finney, this bill authorizes and encourages districts and community partners to establish community schools. It does not appropriate funds but offers a platform on which to build.  This is exciting news considering the work going on in Nashville and Knoxville to grow community schools.

In July, the West Virginia Board of Education approved a policy framework endorsing community schools for statewide implementation. This builds on the Board’s approval last year for a community schools plan for McDowell County Public Schools, West Virginia, as part of the Reconnecting McDowell effort championed by Board president Gayle Manchin and partners including AFT.

The Coalition is enthused by the growing leadership at the state level to expand community schools, and we look forward to working with the state departments of education, state chief school officers, and other key stakeholders to suport effective implementation.

News Spotlight!
WSJ: More Schools Open Their Doors to the Whole Community
Caroline Porter of the Wall Street Journal highlights how Community Schools are gaining momentum. Carol Paine-McGovern, executive director of the Kent School Services Network, and Coalition partner, speaks to the work taking place in Kent County and growth they’ve seen the last eight years. Take a peek at this important article as Porter speaks with supporters and skeptics alike and what this all means for the movement at large. Read More >

De Blasio Pushes On
In a meeting of the key New York community school stakeholders who were chosen to be part of the initiative’s Advisory Board, the city’s Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke on his commitment to the strategy. Included in his remarks was an emphasis on the importance of whole child education in creating an environment in which students can be successful. De Blasio mentioned that the 100 community schools in the city will be a beginning. Read More >

President of Albuquerque, NM Teacher's Union Lifts Up Community Schools
Ellen Bernstein of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation joins Nicole Sandler on her show from the American Federation of Teachers convention to talk about the concept of community schools. Read More >

Oklahoma City Public Schools Set to Open its First Community School
Edgemere Elementary is set to become Oklahoma City Public Schools’ (OKPS) first community school in the district. Serving grades Pre-K through 6th, the school is ready to connect with new partners to provide new support to the students, their families and the community. Plans are even underway for a health clinic to arrive in the second semester. Read More >

Rep. Honda and Weingarten – Improving Education, Changes Needed Inside and Outside of the Classroom
Representative Michael Honda (D – Calif.) and American Federation of Teachers President, Randi Weingarten team up in this congressional blog in response to the Vergara trial verdict that was recently released. Recognizing the out of school barriers of many of the country’s students, Rep. Honda and Weingarten shed light on other areas that need to be addressed to “truly transform the nation's education system.” Read More >

DC Community Schools Initiative Sustained in FY 2015 Budget
The District had to decide if it should continue its support for Community Schools past the first year – and we are excited that the approved budget now includes $1 million to do just that! “Not only is this a win for the Community Schools grantees that have already laid the groundwork for their sites, but also for DC children and families who want to invest in their neighborhoods.” Read More >

Click here to read more news...


The Coalition for Community Schools believes that strong communities require strong schools and strong schools require strong communities. We envision a future in which schools are centers of thriving communities where everyone belongs, works together, and succeeds. The Coalition advances opportunities for the success of children, families and communities by promoting the development of more and more effective, community schools. The Coalition for Community Schools is housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C.

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