School Funding

Biden administration increases grants for community schools, clarifies funding priorities

The Biden administration will prioritize community schools that provide integrated support, expanded learning opportunities, collaborative leadership, and family and community engagement when awarding $68 million in grants under its program full-service community schools.

The US Department of Education announced finalized rules and an increase in program funding on Tuesday. The program has awarded federal funds to schools that have provided access to health care, nutritional assistance, mental health supports, violence prevention programs, and tutoring and enrichment opportunities for more than 10 years. a decade.

In recent years, the US Department of Education has allocated a relatively smaller amount, ranging from $5 million in 2009 to $17.5 million in 2018, for community schools. The 2022 funding increase comes as the administration proposes to spend $468 million on the program in the fiscal year 2023 budget..

“For low-income rural and urban communities hit hard by the pandemic, full-service community schools will help us meet the holistic needs of students, drive our recovery, and pave the way for a more equitable future,” said US Secretary of Education Miguel. Cardona said in a statement.

The new rules require schools to demonstrate a commitment to the “four pillars of community schools”: integrated student supports that address barriers to learning outside of school; expanded learning time and opportunities; family and community engagement; and collaborative leadership and practices “that create a culture of professional learning, collective trust and shared responsibility”.

Principals aim to ensure higher quality community schools that directly involve school partners, community organizations and families, the notice states. The ministry released the proposed rules in January. .

“We applaud the Department’s focus on implementing high-quality community schools not only as an effective strategy for school improvement, but as a way to help all children and families achieve their full potential inside and outside of school,” said a public comment submitted by Gina. Martinez-Keddy, executive director of Parent Teacher Home Visits, a Sacramento, Calif.-based nonprofit dedicated to improving parent-teacher relationships.

The department also created a framework for community school programs to be implemented at the school, district and state level, prioritizing applicants who plan to develop more than one community school in a state. or a region.

The new rules are part of a flurry of recent education initiatives by the administration. Last week the White House announced a plan to bring in 250,000 tutors over the next three years through partnerships with AmeriCorps and 75 educational organizations. The Department of Education has also tightened regulations on incoming charter schools, crack down on for-profit chartered organizations that cause schools to close in the first few years after they open.