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Vol. X Issue 7 October 2013

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Vol. X Issue 7 October 2013

In this Issue

  • From School House to State House: California Community Schools Bus Tour
  • Federal Policy Update
  • Upcoming Webinars
  • Events
  • News
  • Resources & Opportunities

Events





 

Federal Policy Update: Sequestration Remains in Place, For Now

Washington was gridlocked for over two weeks with the government shutdown, but now that the government is open again, the large cuts to federal programs known as sequestration remain temporarily in place. Currently, federal education spending has been cut 5% in Fiscal Year 2013 due to sequestration. Here’s a sampling from the Committee for Education Funding of how certain programs and their recipients have been affected under sequestration: 

• Head Start was cut by $401 million which is currently cutting services to 70,000 low-income children 

• Title I was cut $727 million, affecting almost 1.2 million educationally disadvantaged children 

• IDEA K-12 funding for special education was cut by $580 million, affecting over 350,000 students with disabilities 

Congress extended the budget through January 15th,  when an agreement would need to be made on FY 2014 spending, including whether to keep sequestration in place or replace it with a more balanced deficit reduction plan.

For more on this issue, read this Education Week article.

From School House to State House: California Community Schools Bus Tour  

California State Senator Carol Liu (Chair of the Senate Education Committee) recently hosted a  bus tour called Pathways to Partnership - Community Schools Strategies in Action. The bus tour was a three-day statewide tour of effective cross-agency partnerships in California that are having dynamic impacts connecting students, parents, and schools to local resources so that families and communities thrive. The tour culminated with a Senate hearing on community schools in Sacramento. 

The bus tour was a significant vehicle for state-level community schools advocacy. California has joined the tide of states advocating for and implementing the community schools strategy. Ten states and the District of Columbia, have started to pass legislation, provide funding and/or implement statewide activities promoting the community schools strategy. 

The bus tour brought together a diverse set of stakeholders, including California’s education leaders from school districts, various school boards and school board associations, several members of the Association of California School Administrators, as well as leaders such as James Mayer, CEO of California Forward, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. All of these entities recognize the importance of working with school districts; state, county and city government; non-profits; and businesses to align the resources of an entire community to support student success and strengthen families.              

"Senator Liu is very engaged and passionate in addressing issues of poverty across the state. Her bus tour, Pathways to Partnership – Community School Strategies in Action, reflects her passion and understanding of community schools as a vehicle for addressing these poverty issues. Many of the community schools we visited are on the vanguard of what’s happening systems-wide in California. We had a remarkable time, even nicknamed the bus "Liu-mobile for children and families."
 
Robert Mahaffey
Vice-Chair, Coalition for Community Schools
Communications and Marketing Director, Rural School and Community Trust

Blog: Action versus Rhetoric – By Brock Cohen, Los Angeles Education Partnership

"After three days of barnstorming the state of California, the tour has finally ended. I haven’t even begun to sift through the piles of hastily scrawled notes accumulated from scores of interactions and observations along the way, and I don’t need to. Surprisingly, most of this data is instantly retrievable for me. What makes this feat of recall on my part particularly remarkable is that I am a man who has actually lost his keys while they’re still in his hand". Read more on the Washington Post website. 

Brock Cohen recently joined the Los Angeles Education Partnership's (LAEP) Transform schools staff as their Small Schools Coach, after 12 years of teaching English and Humanities in an urban public high school. 

Other blogs on the California Bus Tour:

Media Attention

For more information, please visit the Coalition for Community School's website.           

 **Image Credit: California Charter School Association

Video: Community Schools, Thriving Students - Oakland Unified School District

An animated video project on the role community schools can play in uplifting children and neighborhoods. Created by Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) students in the Media Enterprise Alliance (MEA) journalism and multimedia program sponsored by OUSD's Communications Department and KDOLTV-27. Watch the video here.

Upcoming Webinars

Strong Nonprofits: Build Your Fiscal Fitness
November 19th at 3pmEST


Hate to talk about cash flow or financial sustainability of programs? Most of us would rather talk program quality—or anything else—but strong financial operations are essential to delivering and sustaining high quality services. Weak financial management stops too many afterschool and other youth-serving nonprofits from winning grants, planning realistically, and doing all they can to fulfill their missions.

We know a tool that just might help! Take a guided tour of a powerful new website full of free financial management resources and information: www.StrongNonprofits.org, from The Wallace Foundation and Fiscal Management Associates.

Speakers include:


Please click here to register for this webinar
            
Expanded Learning Opportunities
December 3rd at 3pmEST


This webinar will highlight the Coalition for Community School's upcoming report, The Convergence of Community Schools and Expanded Learning Opportunities. The report captures the scope and nature of community schools implementing various expanded learning opportunity (ELO) strategies, and the state-of-the-art ELO practices that are being implemented across the community schools field. 

Speakers include:

  • Reuben Jacobson, Senior Associate for Research & Strategy, Coalition for Community Schools
  • Julia Baez, Senior Director of Education Initiatives, Family League of Baltimore (Baltimore, MA) 
  • Laoise King, Vice President of Education Initiatives, United Way of Greater New Haven (New Haven, CT)


Please click here to register for this webinar

For more resources on expanded learning opportunities, visit www.communityschools.org/elo 
The Wallace Foundation also offers a library of free resources at www.wallacefoundation.org
Please feel free to contact Shama Jamal at jamals@iel.org for more information.

News

PBS's American Graduate Series Highlights Community Schools (American Graduate)
Community schools were highlighted (includes video) on Public Broadcasting Services’ American Graduate Day Series.

New Blog: Community Schools Collaboration - A Lifeline for Early Learning Program Success (Huffington Post)
Huffington Post Blog - Guest Bloggers: Janet Brown, Senior Early Childhood Program Specialist and Kwesi Rollins, Director of Leadership Programs at the Institute for Educational Leadership.

Viewpoint: Education, Local Control, and What Our Communities Need to Do (The Sacramento Bee)
California State Senator Loni Hancock and Jennifer Peck is executive director of Partnership for Children and Youth, co-authored a commentary on Community Schools and Local Control Funding Formula.

Sixteen States and D.C. Apply for Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge (U.S. Department of Education)
The applicants will be eligible for four-year grants ranging from $37.5 million to $75 million and the grant size will depend on the state's share of the national population of children birth-through-5 from low-income families, as well as their proposed plans. Access the applications here.
 

     Click here to read more news...

Research & Resources

New Resource: Leveling the Playing Field for Low-Income Students (Partnership for Children and Youth/United Way of the Bay Area)
The United Way of the Bay Area and the Partnership for Children and Youth have released a report examining the ways poverty and education are inextricably linked and exploring how the Community Schools approach is creating new opportunities for low-income children and youth. Download the full report here. 

IUPUI: Strengthening Community Schools Through University Partnerships (Peabody Journal of Education)
This article reflects upon the experiences of IUPUI and nearby George Washington Community High School as it can uniquely serve as a roadmap for other school community/university partnerships that are interested in embarking upon a similar education reform path.

New Resource: Community Eligibility: Making High-Poverty Schools Hunger Free (Food, Research and Action Center)
Community Eligibility, a new federal option that allows schools in high-poverty areas to serve meals at no charge to help reduce hunger and streamline their school meal programs, is resulting in more children eating school meals in participating states, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Food Research and Action Center. Click here to read more.

New Resource: Trends in Teacher Evaluation (Center for Public Education)
This national report examines states' teacher evaluation policies. Click here to download the full report.

Linking Anchor Institutions to Families, Children and Their Communities (The Democracy Collaborative)
The Anchor Dashboard identifies twelve critical areas where anchor institutions can play an effective role. Additionally, it develops illustrative indicators that: 1) provide a baseline to assess conditions in the community; and 2) evaluate institutional effort—e.g., dollars spent, procurement shifted, people hired, policies and accountability procedures in place.

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education (American Federation of Teachers)
The American Federation of Teachers is asking you to join other educators, parents, students, civic leaders and community members to reclaim the promise of public education. Click here to download the flier and spread the word.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Call for Entries (Prudential)
These awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial, Inc. in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), honor outstanding community service by young people in grades 5 through 12 at the local, state and national level. The deadline to submit entries for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is November 5th.

 NEWIEL-and-CCS-logos-combined

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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