Democrats announce Community Schools Act

Photo by Joe Brusky

Racine Education Association President Angelina Cruz spoke at the Community Schools news conference. Among her comments:

“As a Racine middle school teacher for 14 years, my students are at the center of everything I do. Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours before, during and after school giving extra attention to students struggling to succeed.

“This legislation recognizes that when we target the right resources to the right students and families, great things can be accomplished. This is about doing things smarter, better, and in a way that recognizes what individual students need. It’s about providing the most appropriate resources to families– before crisis occurs and before even one student falls between the cracks. A Community School.”

State Senator Chris Larson, State Representative Christine Sinicki and several other Democratic legislators Thursday unveiled the Community Schools Act, which provides start-up funding for Community Schools.

Larson said Community Schools offer students and families a variety of critical programs and resources on top of a traditional curriculum. These services include physical and mental health care, after-school care, academic mentoring, and family support.

The goal of these programs, he said, is to promote student learning, strengthen families, and create healthier communities.

“Every child in Wisconsin deserves a fair shot and an equal opportunity to receive a quality education,” Larson said in a Facebook post that coincided with a press conference in Milwaukee. “That’s why it’s unacceptable that our public schools have faced catastrophic cuts, while taxpayer dollars flow to unaccountable private voucher schools. The Community Schools Act helps reverse this trend and guarantees that our students have the support they need to succeed, both in and out of the classroom.

The Community School model depends on collaboration with partner organizations to achieve these goals.

The Community Schools Act also includes provisions to ensure that both rural and urban school districts in Wisconsin can benefit from the host of opportunities the Community School model provides, Larson said.

Other sponsors of the Community Schools Act so far include Senator LaTonya Johnson, Representative David Crowley, and Representative Jonathan Brostoff.

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Democrats announce Community Schools Act

“Every child in Wisconsin deserves a fair shot and an equal opportunity to receive a quality education,” Larson said.

NEA is a strong supporter of the Community School model. Find out more:

Community Schools

A Community School is at the center of the community – open all day, every day, to everyone – that brings together academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement under one roof, leading to improved learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.