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California embraces community schooling

New York Teacher
Seal of State of California

California is launching a seven-year initiative to convert potentially thousands of schools into full-service, parent-focused community schools.

The state Board of Education approved $635 million in planning and implementation grants for 265 school districts, county offices of education and charter schools.

Of those, 192 will receive two-year planning grants of $200,000 in the first round. The other 73 districts, with at least some existing community schools, will receive implementation grants covering 444 schools. Over five years, each school will receive between $712,500 and $2.375 million, depending on size.

School districts and charters will be required to contribute an additional third as matching funds.

A year ago, the California state Legislature approved the $3 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program, which will be the nation’s most ambitious effort to create schools with “wraparound services” that meet the multiple health and learning needs of children from low-income families.

Research and studies have found that when run well, community schools lead to better attendance, fewer discipline problems and chronic absences, improved school culture and better communication with families and caregivers.

EdSource.org, May 12