Senate Embraces Community Schools in Passage of Every Child Achieves Act
Community school supporters have good reason to celebrate important federal policy wins that occurred in July. On July 16, the U.S. Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act by a vote of 81-17. (Every Child Achieves is intended to replace No Child Left Behind.) We are thrilled to share that two community school amendments offered by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have passed as part of the Senate’s Every Child Achieves Act bill. One amendment authorizes a full-service community schools grant program, and the second-which passed unanimously- makes resource coordinators an allowable use of Title IV funds. We commend Senators Brown and Manchin for their leadership in the Senate, and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) for his long-standing championship across Capitol Hill for community schools. We are thrilled with these victories and heartened by the passage of the Senate bill that moves us a step closer toward reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
"This victory demonstrates the growing bipartisan support for the community school strategy," states Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership and Director of the Coalition. "More and more Senators are hearing from their constituents about the growth and impact of community schools in their states, and the strong return on investment that community schools yield for young people, families and their communities."
Mary Kingston Roche, the Coalition’s Director of Public Policy, adds, "These wins prove the power of our Coalition’s over 200 national, state and local partners who made this victory possible. By coming together around the vision of community schools, partners representing educators, families, youth development, health, and civil rights rallied for these amendments and achieved strong bipartisan support. It is this united front that made these amendments successful and makes the community schools strategy so powerful." To Read Our Full ESEA Press Release Click Here.
Our Policy Agenda for 113th Congress
outlines the Coalition’s plans to influence federal policy and funding to better grow and support the work of a community schools approach. The Coalition staff and our partners will use this document at the federal level to advocate for supportive policies and practices of community schools, and we encourage our state and local partners to use this document to advocate at these levels as well.
This section provides an overview our framework for reauthorizing ESEA, supportive federal legislation and guidance, as well as using federal funding for community schools. For more details on the different sections, see below:
· ESEA Reauthorization Framework highlights recommendations for ESEA Reauthorization that reflects the best principles and practices of successful community school initiatives across the nation. Our ESEA Letter -- signed by over 40 national organizations as a pledge of support -- outlines key community schools principles as recommendations for a reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
· Federal Legislation highlights proposed and existing federal legislation that you, as a policymaker or advocate of community schools, should support.
· Federal Funding highlights how federal funding from across Departments of Education, and other federal agencies, can be used in implementing a comprehensive community schools strategy.
Also refer to how state and local policies have leveraged their policies to support the funding and implementation of community schools.