May 18, 2023
State Superintendent Thurmond Awards $750 Million in State Board-Approved Community Schools Implementation Grants
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that the California State Board of Education (SBE) today approved $750 million in community schools implementation grants as proposed by the California Department of Education (CDE). Today’s approval marks the largest single investment in community schools anywhere in the nation. It builds on successful efforts to accelerate student learning through an integrated approach focused on academics, health and social services, and family and community engagement.
The $4.1 billion California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) is the nation’s largest investment in the community schools model and is designed to transform educational outcomes for students through a whole child and whole family approach that brings an array of services to the school site in order to strengthen students’ assets and improve conditions for teaching and learning. Community schools partner with education, county, and other nonprofit entities to provide integrated health, mental health, and social services alongside high-quality, supportive instruction with a strong focus on community, family, and student engagement.
“This is an important moment for California’s public schools,” said Thurmond. “I have been a longtime advocate for community schools because they break down the barriers that limit student and family access to needed services and resources to ensure that the school site itself becomes a community hub that elevates families’ strengths and deepens relationships between the campus and the community.”
Thurmond has championed community schools for almost 20 years, first as a school board member in West Contra Costa, where he authored the resolution that made the entire district a full-service community schools district, and then as a California Assembly Member, where he supported community schools legislation. Now, as State Superintendent, Thurmond is leading the largest community schools implementation in the nation. Under his leadership, California now has 1,027 community schools sites across the state.
“Our community schools’ goals are straightforward,” Thurmond continued. “We intend to change academic outcomes for all of California’s students, but our investment will start in communities that have shouldered the burden of economic disinvestment for decades.” Under Thurmond’s direction, the CCSPP has funded schools with a poverty threshold at 68 percent or higher and rural schools with a threshold at 58 percent or higher.
Superintendent Thurmond sponsored community schools legislation in 2019 and, since the passage of the Community Schools Partnership Act, the CDE is leading the nation in implementing work to support the whole child and transform public education under his leadership. Specifically:
- To date, the CDE has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grant awards for planning and implementation grants and more than $100 million in technical assistance contracts through the CCSPP.
- The CDE and the SBE designed the California Community Schools Framework, which has become a national model for transformational community schools implementation guidance.
- The CDE has awarded a total of 419 planning grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) across the state and 204 implementation grants to LEAs supporting 1,028 school sites, most of which have an unduplicated student count of over 70 percent, making the CCSPP the most equity- and racial-justice-driven transformation program in the history of California’s public education.
The implementation grants approved today by the SBE will provide 128 school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with five-year grants of up to $500,000 per year to work with families, educators, and partners to implement community schools.
With today’s vote, the CDE is awarding the third round of community schools grants that account for more than $750 million in total. The list of planning grants approved today can be found under Item 9 on the May 2023 SBE Agenda. SBE President Linda Darling-Hammond stated, “Community schools provide supportive, nurturing, and inclusive learning environments to help all students thrive in academics and in life. In addition, they provide much-needed community resource hubs. I am grateful to the Governor, the Legislature, and the California Department of Education for their dedication to this important program.”
Community schools are a critical part of Thurmond’s Transforming California Schools Initiative, and he is currently visiting schools that are engaged in learning acceleration and attending to student mental health and the well-being of families. As part of those efforts, Thurmond will continue to visit schools that have received CCSPP funding to highlight the transformational work happening on community school campuses.
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100