WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) and Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) today introduced H.R. 5168, the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation would establish a competitive grant program to expand the number of full-service community schools at the K-12 level around the country. Full-service community schools provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for students and their families so that they can access a quality education and a range of vital services, including medical services, under one roof.
“Full-service community schools are a critical tool in the effort to close the achievement gap and ensure that we are graduating students who are college and career-ready,” stated Whip Hoyer. ”This bill, which I am pleased to introduce with Rep. Schock today, is a bipartisan measure that will help children from low-income families close the achievement gap. In Maryland, a network of Judith P. Hoyer Early Childhood and Family Education Centers, named for my late wife, has employed the full-service community schools model with great success in making sure children are prepared for kindergarten and that parents have the tools they need to support their children’s learning. I hope the House will act on this bill without delay so that children across the country can benefit from this approach as well.”
“As a former school board member and school board president in Peoria, I know firsthand the challenges that parents, teachers, and school administrators face every day. Motivating children to learn, teaching them to succeed, and meeting their basic needs are a daily concern for everyone involved. Full-service community schools are important tools in this effort,” stated Congressman Schock. “Although relatively new to Peoria, these schools are making a difference for educators, parents, and most importantly, the students. The Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014 will expand opportunities and benefit neighborhoods in need. As Congress continues to seek innovative solutions to address our national education needs, I am pleased to work with my friend, Steny Hoyer, to highlight the important role that full service community schools serve.”
The Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014 authorizes five-year grants from the Department of Education to assist local grantees in implementing the full-service community schools model. Grants would be offered to states seeking to support these schools through state-wide education programming as well as directly to local partnerships between school districts and community-based organizations. The legislation also makes at least ten percent of funding available for rural areas, since this model is particularly effective in rural communities. Additionally, the legislation would create an advisory committee with representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to consult with the Secretary of Education to improve the coordination of federal programs and issue an annual report to Congress.The bill is endorsed by over thirty organizations, including the Coalition for Community Schools and the American Federation of Teachers. Click here for more information.