The Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind, contains promising language to expand the programs and reach of community schools. For a general summary of its potential for community schools, please read the following ESSA commentary in The Washington Post by Martin Blank, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Community Schools:

In particular, Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act contains key provisions in support of community schools, including:

  1. The mention of community partners who can provide needs assessments and a range of services within schools
  2. The use of non-academic indicators to measure school improvement
  3. The improvement of “school conditions for student learning” and identification of resource inequities
  4. Comprehensive needs assessments and schoolwide programs for targeted schools

In January, the Coalition for Community Schools submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Education in support of community school policies related to ESSA. The letter and other information about how ESSA can support community schools is available here:

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