New Federal Community Schools Grantees Reject False Dichotomy Washington, D.C. - October 12, 2010 -The US Department of Education funded 11 new grantees, including three charter school organizations, under the FullService Community Schools Program (FSCS) last week. The Full Service Community Schools Program encourage...
New Federal Community Schools Grantees Reject False Dichotomy
Washington, D.C. - October 12, 2010 -The US Department of Education funded 11 new grantees, including three charter school organizations, under the FullService Community Schools Program (FSCS) last week. The Full Service Community Schools Program encouragescoordination of academic, social, and health services through partnerships that help all children meet challenging academic content and academic achievement standards.
"The Coalition for Community Schools applauds these grantees," said Martin Blank, Director of the Coalition for Community Schools and President of the Institute for Educational Leadership. "At a time when 'Waiting for Superman' suggests that our only options for improving education are to focus on teachers and charter schools, the over 200 FSCS applicants and 11 awardees are pursuing a different path. They go beyond this narrow point of view and say yes to genuine school reform that involves both quality teaching and providing the family and community supports that can create the conditions for all students to learn. As Secretary Duncan has said, it a false dichotomy to suggest that we should not and cannot do both. Community schools are the vehicle to realize that both/and vision."
Public school systems, non–profit organizations and higher education institutions join Green Dot Public Charter Schools, the East Austin College Prep Academy, Inc. a charter school in Austin Texas, and a network of charter schools in the San Fernando Valley led by Bert Corona Charter School as 2010 Full Service Community Schools grantees.
In serving a total of 39 schools, these grantees will partner with over 100 community-based organizations, neighborhood groups, local government, higher education and many others. They offer a wide array of services tailored to meet their community’s needs, such as early learning, family engagement, health and dental care, mental health, mentoring and after school programs, apprenticeships and internships, nutrition and physical activity, parenting and adult education, and family financial services.
"We welcome these grantees to the growing number of schools and communities that are using the community school strategy to support student success," said Ira Harkavy, Coalition Chair and Associate Vice-President and Director of the Netter Center for Community Partnership at the University of Pennsylvania. "We must all work together if all of our students, particularly those at-risk, are to learn, develop and become contributing citizens of our democracy."
Local school and community leaders have been growing community school initiatives across the country. Chicago, Cincinnati, Evansville, the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, Lincoln, New York, and Philadelphia among others have major community school efforts. Most recently, Oakland has declared itself a community school district and Providence is expanding the work of its 2008 Full Service Community Schools Program grantee district-wide.
For more information on community schools please visit: www.communityschools.org.