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Over 30 Advocates Share Powerful Community School Stories

 

"Community Schools are a source of oxygen to neighborhoods stifled by economic and socio-emotional disadvantages! #NYSCommunitySchools"-@aqeelweeums
 
On January 24, 2017, the New York State Community Schools Network headed to Albany to urge the governor and legislature to increase funding for community schools. The New York State Community Schools Network is a statewide coalition of community-based organizations, advocacy groups, educational technical assistance centers, and unions to support and advance the development of all local and statewide community school initiatives. From Buffalo, Troy, to New York City, over 30 advocates met with over 30 state representatives at the Capitol sharing their powerful community school stories. 
 
Governor Cuomo has included $150 million in Foundation Aid Community School Set-Aside funding in the 2017-2018 Executive Budget proposal, but it falls short of existing funding for community schools to continue making progress and support the children and families they serve. An esteemed group of community school champions, including New York State Assembly members Marcos A. Crespo and Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, and New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, kicked off the advocacy day by giving morning remarks. Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, opened by acknowledging the importance of community and engaging all stakeholders. "Community schools are a vital way to help address the real life challenges that students and families face day to day," said Klein. "We need to make sure that schools have the resources to ensure that students are able to realize their full potential."
 
Assembly member Marcos Crespo, state representative of the Bronx and a strong community school advocate, depends on community schools in his district to provide fundamental services. "I've personally witnessed the impact that community schools have had on the children and families in my district," said Crespo.
 
A strong contingent from Buffalo met Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a champion for community schools stated that, "with community schools, we have a prime opportunity for communities across the state to have a real voice in the discussions and decision-making processes that can have a sustained impact on academic success and raise the bar for students who have long been shortchanged by our education system."
 
Community schools need time and sustained support to increase student learning and success. The New York State Community Schools Network is committed to advocacy to ensure that adequate and sustainable funding exists for community schools to develop and strengthen their work in communities across the state. Please join the conversation with New York State on Twitter by using the hashtag #NYSCommunitySchools
 

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