U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Touts Community Schools During Pennsylvania Stop on the Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour

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Accompanied by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona stopped by the offices of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) in Pennsylvania on the fourth day of the Road to Success Back to School Bus Tour

Joining a powerful conversation with White House and United Way staff, Secretary Cardona and Second Gentleman Emhoff delivered a powerful message, ‘Community Schools are the future!’

Both the Secretary and Second Gentleman listened to and engaged authentically with UWGLV staff to learn more about how partnerships are vital to Community Schools’ success and how these collaborations provide students with a network of support.

During the discussion, Secretary Cardona acknowledged Superintendents need to further open up their districts to partners, and that as community members, we must embrace the fact that students are “all of our kids.” Thus, we share the responsibility for their outcomes. Additionally, Secretary Cardona noted that we cannot go back to the way things used to be, and that Community Schools are one of the strategies that can move us forward. 

A group of people sit at a long table, with Secretary Cardona at the head, in the UWGLV headquarters

Source: UWGLV

“We’re looking at a whole-child approach to learning and one organization alone isn’t going to be able to meet all of those needs,” remarked Jill Pereira, Vice President, Education and Impact, UWGLV. “The collective impact of our Community School model has been proven to work for us throughout the pandemic to administer healthcare, technology and resources and information for basic needs, food and mental health to those impacted the most,” Pereira added.

As the Coalition for Community Schools, we are thrilled to see Community Schools are a priority and a recommended strategy for ensuring the best outcomes for children, youth, and families. We are dedicated to helping build the infrastructure needed to scale Community Schools across the country. 

We thank Secretary Cardona for elevating Community Schools and being truly invested in creating more awareness around this strategy.

We look forward to working with the U.S. Department of Education to focus on solutions:

  • Equitable funding for core school functioning
  • Updated school buildings and hard infrastructure to match 21st or 22nd Century design
  • Modeling more collaboration and blended/braided funding
  • Funding for Community School Coordinators and related support positions, after school program coordinators, family liaisons, etc.
  • More alignment to housing and mental health initiatives
  • Support for regional/state coordination to be most intentional about convening and aligning
  • Arts as a core element of core education

Learn more about the Secretary’s UWGLV bust stop here.

To learn more about the Coalition for Community Schools, visit us at https://www.communityschools.org/ 

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