Since the start of the new legislative session in January, 17 states and the District of Columbia have introduced a total of 45 bills in support of Full-Service Community Schools. These bills, including a number with bipartisan support, will expand access to funding through the establishment of grants or appropriate funds to implement Full-Service Community Schools programs, amend current statutes to increase programmatic support and staffing, and reference Community Schools as an allowable use for funding streams.
For example, Maryland has introduced eight bills that seek to allocate $100,000 for technical assistance, fund additional professional development opportunities for Community Schools teachers and staff, and provide clarity within current statutes to allow Full-Service Community Schools to access more funding streams and additional personnel resources, such as school counselors. Minnesota currently has a total of five bills before the state legislature requesting a total of $104 million to fund the planning and implementation of Community Schools across the state. Oklahoma’s H.B.1367 establishes the state’s first pilot program by the State Board of Education to create Community Schools on the district and local levels.
Of these 45 bills, five have been passed, including H.R.3in Louisiana which designates April 25th as Step Up Louisiana in support of Full-Service Community Schools, and R.555 in New York which restores $450,000 in funding to United Community Schools and adds $105 million to the state funding formula for community schools.
The Coalition for Community Schools and IEL are excited by the work being done on the local and state level to advocate for the advancement of the Full-Service Community Schools strategy and look forward to seeing what the rest of 2023 has in store for the Community Schools movement!