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Kaine Joins Colleagues in Introducing Bill to Improve Student Outcomes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) in introducing the Full-Service Community School Expansion Act of 2023, legislation to improve student outcomes and strengthen public education by expanding full-service community schools. Full-service community schools are public schools and districts that bring in wraparound support services, including medical, mental, and nutrition health services, mentoring and youth development programs, technical assistance, and continuing education courses. They have a proven track record of producing tangible results for students, including advancing academic achievement and improving attendance. The Full-Service Community School Expansion Act would provide essential resources to school districts to plan, implement, expand, and build infrastructure for full-service community schools.

“Schools provide more than a traditional education. For many students, they also serve as critical support systems that help them access the resources they need to succeed in and out of the classroom,” said Kaine. “By expanding access to community schools like this bill does, more public schools will be better equipped to serve students and families, particularly those from low-income and underserved backgrounds.”

Specifically, the Full-Service Community School Expansion Act would:

  • Invest $3.65 billion over the next five years to plan, implement, expand, and support full-service community schools serving low-income students;
  • Provide renewable grant opportunities and additional resources to existing community schools to improve collaboration and communication among school leadership and strengthen wraparound services that support the needs of students, families, and neighborhoods. 
  • Build out community school infrastructure by funding the establishment of state-level teams that provide professional development opportunities and resources for community school staff, and collaborate with local education agencies on integrating supports for community schools;
  • Ensure Tribes and Tribal organizations receive priority consideration in the application process and are included in stakeholder coordination efforts;
  • Set aside up to 5% of funds for an elementary and secondary Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools program for planning and capacity building, implementation, expansion, and renewal grants; and
  • Set aside up to 5% of funds for technical assistance and support to leverage federal, state, and local resources that address health care and early childhood education, connect local education agencies with other statewide institutions, and inform LEAs of funding opportunities.

In addition to Kaine, Brown, Van Hollen, Gillibrand, and Luján, the legislation was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), John Fetterman (D-PA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Martin Heinrich (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). U.S. Representative Susie Lee (D-NV-3) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The Full-Service Community School Expansion Act of 2023 is endorsed by the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Indian Education Association, the Institute for Educational Leadership, the Coalition for Community Schools, First Focus on Children, the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association for Secondary School Principals, MENTOR, Journey 4 Justice, the School Superintendents Association, Maryland State Education Association, Maryland Out of School Time Network, Public School Superintendents’ Association of Maryland, Communities in Schools New Mexico, Southwest Institute for Transformational (SWIFT) Community Schools, National Education Association New Mexico (NEA-NM), American Federation of Teachers New Mexico (AFT NM), ABC Community School Partnership, Nevada State Education Association, Communities in Schools of Nevada, and Clark County School District.

Full text of the bill is available here.