State Superintendent Thurmond to Release Another $45 Million in State Board-Approved Community Schools Planning Grants

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“State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the California State Board of Education (SBE) today approved $45 million in community schools planning grants as proposed by the California Department of Education (CDE), which builds on successful efforts to accelerate student learning through an integrated approach focused on academics, health and social services, and family and community engagement.

The $4 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) is the nation’s largest investment in the success of high-needs students through a whole-child approach. Community schools partner with education, county, and nonprofit entities to provide integrated health, mental health, and social services alongside high-quality, supportive instruction with a strong focus on community, family, and student engagement.

Superintendent Thurmond is excited to continue to support the next phase of community schools transformation. “I have been a longtime advocate for community schools. Years ago, as a school board member, I introduced a policy to turn West Contra Costa Unified into a full-service community schools district. We have come a long way in our efforts to make community schools a reality throughout the state of California,” Thurmond said. “Community schools aim to break down the barriers that limit student and family access to needed services and resources, ensuring that the school site itself can become a place for a variety of services. Students cannot learn and families cannot prioritize education unless their basic needs are met and families have a pathway to elevate their assets—whether that is through wellness programs, nutritional programs, job training, counseling, or language and biliteracy programs.

‘Our goals related to community schools are straightforward,’ Thurmond continued. ‘Transform school climate through the implementation of restorative practices and steer away from punitive disciplinary practices that exclude and punish rather than embrace and repair.’

Thurmond sponsored community schools legislation in 2019 and, since the passage of the Community Schools Partnership Act, the CDE is leading the nation in implementing work to support the whole child and transform public education under Superintendent Thurmond’s leadership.”

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