U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (N.Y.-16) sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee leadership urging them to include $443 million for community schools in the FY22 budget. There are 300 community schools serving Maryland students across 16 counties and Baltimore City.
“Community Schools use evidence-based, comprehensive leadership practices to treat schools as community hubs and provide integrated student supports, expanded and enriched learning time, active family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership and practices to support high-quality teaching,” wrote the lawmakers. “By leveraging these strategies and partnerships with established community organizations, community schools support well-rounded educational opportunities that meet the social, emotional, physical and mental health, and academic needs of students…we urge you to include $443 million for Full-Service Community Schools; This funding was secured in the House-passed FY2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill and matches the funding level included in the President’s Budget request.”
“Due in part to close partnerships between schools and community partners, community schools were better prepared to coordinate and deliver services based on community needs in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” added the lawmakers. “After Congress passed and the President signed the American Rescue Plan into law, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance for schools looking to use American Rescue Plan funding to adopt the community school strategy and improve student outcomes. Securing this $443 investment in the FY22 budget is necessary to provide community schools with the long-term resources and financial resources they need to meet the holistic needs of the whole child and support the well-being and success of students, families, and communities for years to come.”
Read the full release here.