A Case for Coherence: Fulfilling California’s Community Schools Promise

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“With students, families, and the education systems that serve them still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, community schools offer a promising approach to address urgent and persistent whole-child needs and their impact on teaching and learning. A $3 billion state investment in the California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) provides resources that can promote the transformation of education and child-serving systems. The potential for progress is enormous, but so are the prospects
for unintended consequences of well-meaning—yet superficial and fragmented—school improvement efforts.

Last month, the California State Board of Education approved 265 grant recipients to design and implement community schools strategies. Meanwhile, the governor’s proposed budget includes an additional $1.5 billion to support community schools moving forward. As these newly identified districts and their communities prepare to move forward—and as other districts consider applying for future funding—key insights from years of research and practical experience with improvement efforts in California can inform their efforts. In
particular, California’s pursuit of community schools strategies must go beyond removing obstacles to student success through “nonacademic” service delivery by embracing the opportunity for systems transformation. Local educators and their partners should view the CCSPP as an opportunity to strengthen a coherent, multisector approach across child-serving systems to collectively create equitable learning conditions and opportunities so that children can thrive. This brief outlines considerations for ensuring that the CCSPP achieves its potential.”

Get the resource here.

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