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Community Schools: A Bill to Watch

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Schools and community organizations that want to use K-12 facilities for mentoring, academic enrichment, and health services could get an assist from the federal government under a bill introduced yesterday by Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House Majority Leader, and Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a moderate Democrat who is often a key swing vote.

The bill would be aimed at expanding the reach of "full-service community schools." It would help schools, community organizations, and private-public partnerships offer a whole range of programs, including remedial education and academic enrichment, family literacy, mental health, adult education, nutrition services, and early childhood education.

So why should this bill be on your radar screen?

First of all, it's being sponsored by some very influential lawmakers.

Second, as Congress begins to consider a renewal of the No Child Left Behind Act, a measure like this one could be a good way to get some love from the folks who feel strongly that health, social services, and extracurricular activities are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to boosting student achievement.

And finally, there's some star power behind it...actress Jennifer Garner showed up at the bill's introduction and even wrote about it on the Huffington Post.

1 Comment

Yes, the full-service community school represents meaningful reform that will be supported by the people who actually serve children. Common sense and decades of research tell us that impoverished children must receive health care and social supports if they are to have a fair chance for a quality education. President Obama suggested as much in his speeches and books and I trust him to support what is best for our most disadvantaged children.

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