FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Regents Take Action to Support Creation of Community Schools at Persistently Struggling and Struggling Schools
Eligibility Requirements Established for $75 Million in Grants
The New York State Board of Regents today took action to support persistently struggling and struggling schools in establishing community schools. The Board adopted grant eligibility requirements for the $75 million in funding that the Governor and Legislature provided in the 2016-2017 State Budget to support these grants. This is the first step in the rulemaking process needed to award the funding.
“When families can thrive, so can students and the need for community schools in areas with persistently struggling and struggling schools is severe,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa. “These are, for the most part, high-need districts where community schools become a lifeline for families. As a former community school principal myself, I know these grants will help struggling and persistently struggling schools make the transition to community schools.”
“If we bolster the communities surrounding struggling and persistently struggling schools, we can begin to make a real difference for the students and families there,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “I thank Governor Cuomo and the Legislature for making this grant money available to help these schools offer life-changing services in these communities.”
All grant applications must include detailed plans and timelines for ensuring substantial parent, teacher and community engagement in the planning, implementation and operation of the community school. The grant guidelines require districts to:
- Hold public meetings with parents, teachers and community members at least quarterly during the school year to provide information and solicit input regarding the planning, implementation and operations of the community school;
- Provide written notices and communications regarding the planning, implementation and operation of the community school to parents, teachers, other school personnel and community members; and
- Ensure that parents, teachers and community members are given meaningful opportunities to provide input and feedback by providing a variety of widely accessible methods of communication.
Community schools grant funds must be used to supplement and not supplant district expenditures and can only be used for new expenditures on eligible operating and capital costs. The funds must be used to support the operating and capital costs associated with the transformation of designated schools into community hubs to deliver co-located or school-linked academic, health, mental health, nutrition, counseling, legal or other services to students and their families. Those services must include:
- Providing a community school site coordinator at each struggling or persistently struggling school receiving a grant;
- Improving parent engagement;
- Providing early childhood education programs; and
- Constructing or renovating spaces within school buildings to serve as health suites, adult education spaces, guidance suites, resource rooms, remedial rooms, parent/community rooms, and career and technical education classrooms.
These rules become effective on July 26, 2016. A Notice of Emergency Adoption and Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on August 10, 2016. It is anticipated that the proposed amendment will come before the Board of Regents at its October meeting. If adopted at its October meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective as a permanent rule on November 2, 2016. It is anticipated the districts will be able to apply for funding later this summer.
During the 2016-17 school year there will be 73 schools in the following districts that will be eligible to apply for these funds.
- Albany: 2
- Buffalo: 15
- Hempstead: 2
- Mt. Vernon: 1
- NYC: 27
- Poughkeepsie: 1
- Rochester: 10
- Schenectady: 1
- Syracuse: 9
- Troy: 1
- Wyandanch: 1
- Yonkers: 3
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