In coming weeks, California will embark on a massive undertaking to convert several thousand schools in low-income neighborhoods into centers of community life and providers of vital services for families as well as students.

Known as community schools, they will be established over the next seven years. New York and Maryland are among states that are investing in community schools, but California’s $3 billion effort, which the Legislature funded in the current budget, will by far be the nation’s most ambitious effort. Advocates say that the California Community Schools Partnership Program will position schools to comprehensively meet students’ needs, engage families as partners, empower teachers and create a web of relationships and contracts with outside health and social service agencies.”