Community schools can provide a place where students, parents and neighbors can access basic healthcare, English as a second language programs, citizenship classes, tutoring, and community service opportunities. We support the creation of community schools that function as a hub in the community to keep students engaged in productive activities and help families access the resources they need.
Right now, New York spends more on community schools than any other state. The 2013-2014 education budget included, for the first time, $15 million for community schools. This new program lays the groundwork for further expansion of the program.
Community schools have been shown to increase attendance and decrease drop-out rates, while instilling a higher sense of self-esteem and more positive environment for students. It creates meaningful family engagement with the school and students, and becomes a hub for positive and healthy living in the community.
However, right now, the $15 million invested in community schools is only enough to serve 0.5% of New York’s students. Other budget cuts over the last years have reduced or eliminated the services that define community schools, such as social workers, guidance counselors, after-school programs, tutoring, and extra-curricular activities.
AQE’s main objective with community schools is to expand the community schools program and get the state to ensure that students have access to guidance counselors, social workers, and school psychologists that have been reduced in many school districts.
**Check: 2017-2018 $50 million allocated to community schools?**