Governor Newsom Spotlights Community Schools Strategy to Bolster Student Achievement
SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) Governor Gavin Newsom met virtually with education leaders, parents, and students to highlight the state’s Community Schools strategy, an effort to ensure that students and families in local communities can get the resources they need at their school to thrive in the classroom. 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.
Research and data have shown that Community Schools can result in lower rates of absenteeism, better grades and test scores, higher enrollment in college prep classes, and higher graduation rates.
“Supporting students outside of the classroom is essential to helping our kids achieve, and Community Schools provide those resources for local communities to bolster support services. This strategy is the nation’s most ambitious proposal to improve student learning, health, and well-being – full-service schools centered on the lived realities of students and families that deliver whatever students need to help them thrive in the classroom,” said Governor Newsom.
“The traditional school year may be coming to a close for many students, but our work on Community Schools is just beginning,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “Educators know it will take resources, support and a community effort to create schools that disrupt poverty. It is going to require meaningful educator, community and parent engagement to give all students the schools they deserve with a robust curriculum, support services and a commitment to shared leadership.”
Last year, California invested $3 billion to expand and strengthen the implementation and use of the community school model to schools in communities with high levels of poverty. This investment supports a whole-child framework for school transformation to guide local educational agencies in planning and implementing other recent state investments in universal nutrition, before/after school and summer school enrichment and care, universal transitional kindergarten, behavioral health supports, and other similar initiatives.
As part of this $3 billion investment, the State Board of Education and Department of Education last month announced the awardees for $649 million in community school grants. Additionally, the Alameda County Office of Education was awarded $12 million to lead the state’s Community Schools technical assistance infrastructure to support the implementation of the grants.
The Governor’s May Revision budget proposal includes an additional $1.5 billion to expand access to the Community Schools grants to every eligible local educational agency that opts to apply on behalf of its high-need schools.