May 18, 2022
California State Board of Education and State Superintendent Thurmond Announce First Round of Grants for $3 Billion Community Schools Partnership Program
SACRAMENTO—The State Board of Education (SBE) today approved an historic $649 million in California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) grants—much needed funding that will help hundreds of under-resourced schools improve student outcomes by creating the right conditions for learning.
“We know that the best learning environment is one where students are healthy and happy and surrounded by knowledgeable and caring adults attuned to their needs,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “Unfortunately, schools in communities with high rates of poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity lack the funds to address student mental health issues, improve wellness, and support learning recovery. That’s why this program is so exciting: Well-resourced community schools have the potential to transform students’ lives and improve the well-being of families, thus uplifting entire communities.”
The awards approved by the Board today are the first round of grants in a seven-year, $3 billion program that is part of California’s overall strategy to improve learning through a “whole child” approach. The state’s commitment to community schools is the most ambitious in the nation and key to addressing inequities that limit college and career options for vulnerable students.
“This is a transformational moment for California’s schools, and our nation-leading investment in community school strategies will ensure that our campuses will become resource hubs for our neighborhoods, and that our families and educators lead the efforts to transform outcomes for students,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. “I am confident that through this new equity-driven approach to public education, we will create campuses that welcome, embrace and value every child and every family. Based on the initial feedback from our schools, the demand will be much greater than the $3 billion allocated for this program. I'm excited by the potential that community schools have and glad to see additional funding of $1.5 billion in the Governor's May budget proposal for this program to transform the lives of our students, families, and communities."
The grants approved by the SBE are spread over three categories:
- Up to two-year, $200,000 planning grants allocated to 192 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools without community schools (a total of $38.2 million);
- Five-year implementation grants of up to $500,000 per school site allocated to 76 districts, county offices of education, and charter schools for new, expanded, or continuing community school programs. This represents 458 school sites each serving at least 80 percent high-need students (a total of $611 million); and
- A Lead Technical Assistance Center Grant to the Alameda County Office of Education that will act as a support hub for the program, co-led with the UCLA Center for Community Schooling, and in partnership with Californians for Justice and the National Education Association (a three-year, $12 million contract).
In all, a total of 268 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools are recipients of the grants. Additional planning and implementation grants will be allocated in the 2022–23 school year, and implementation grants will be allocated in subsequent school years.
Community schools have existed for years, but the CCSSP is California’s first statewide initiative to provide funding, support, and standardization of the program through common guiding pillars: integrated services, including trauma-informed health services; expanded learning time and opportunities; collaborative leadership and practices for educators and administrators to support school climate; and engaging students, families, and the community.
At its meeting in January, the SBE approved a California Community Schools Framework, which added four commitments aimed at centering the initiative on equity: a commitment to a willingness to share power; to using racially just restorative practices; to culturally relevant teaching practices; and to approaching school communities through the positive lens of assessing strengths versus focusing on challenges.
“We’re off to a very good start,” President Darling-Hammond said. “The Legislature, the State Board, and the Department are aligned that this is an equity initiative.”
As further evidence of California’s commitment to addressing disparities through community schools, Governor Gavin Newsom has included an additional $1.5 billion for the program in his May budget revision.
The list of awardees can be found on the CDE SBE Agenda for May 2022 web page.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100