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Press Release: New York City Mayor Announces $150 Million Investment to Convert Lowest-Performing Schools Into Community Schools

For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. - November 4, 2014

Contact: Mary Kingston Roche, (202)-822-8405 x 140  

WASHINGTON, DC – In a speech yesterday at a school in East Harlem, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plans to convert the 94 lowest-performing schools in the city into community schools. With an intended investment of $150 million, these schools will implement the community school strategy to offer key opportunities and services to students including health, mental health, and mentoring; more afterschool and summer learning opportunities for students; activities and classes for children, families and community members in the evenings and on weekends; and, an additional hour of instruction per day.

De Blasio’s announcement makes concrete his commitment early on to create 100 community schools across the city. It supplements a recent investment: to repurpose $52 million in state funds to launch 40 new community schools in the city. The Mayor’s action adds to the momentum for community schools across New York state where Governor Cuomo has invested $30 million in community schools in the past two years. 

Said Mayor de Blasio today, "Community schools embody the values we believe should drive public education and make a real difference in student achievement…We cannot expect a model created in the 1800s to deliver a 21st century education. Community Schools are designed for us, here and now: they invite parents and other members of the community in on their own schedule; and they prepare students for the jobs of today – which increasingly require skills previous generations could not have dreamt of…Community Schools can – and in time will – make a difference in every part of the city."

"Mayor de Blasio’s vision of community schools sends a message to all of us that we must work together to ensure that all of our young people have an equal opportunity in their educational experiences," said Martin J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools. "We stand ready to support the Mayor and our partners in New York to make his vision of thriving community schools throughout the city a reality and a testament to the power of uniting school, family, and community for young people’s success."




About the Coalition for Community Schools

The Coalition for Community Schools, housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL), is an alliance of national, state and local organizations in education K–16, youth development, community planning and development, higher education, family support, health and human services, government, and philanthropy as well as national, state, and local community school networks. The Coalition advocates for community schools as a strategy to leverage local resources and programs, changing the look and feel of the traditional school structure to best meet the needs of children and families in the 21st century.

About the Institute for Educational Leadership

For a half-century, the Institute for Educational Leadership has championed the need for leaders at all levels to shake off their institutional constraints and work across boundaries to address the needs of young people and their families. Bound by no constituency, IEL serves as a catalyst that helps policymakers, administrators, and practitioners at all levels to bridge bureaucratic silos and undo gridlock to improve outcomes for all young people and their families. The work of IEL focuses on three pillars required for young people and their communities to succeed: Involving the broader community with public education to support the learning and development of young people; building more effective pathways into the workforce for all young people and supporting the transition to adulthood; and preparing generations of leaders with the know-how to drive collaborative efforts at all levels.



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