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FS Policy

Page history last edited by pbworks 8 years, 1 month ago


Full-Service Schools Policy



Legislation and Initiatives





The historic development of isolated departments, such as education, family, and health, in different executive agencies, the disparate funding streams within the federal government and the perception of the limited role of the federal government in education have been challenges to the development of effective full-service community school policy. Martin Blank, the Director of the Coalition for Community Schools

, states that any policy framework “must demonstrate how to cross many different institutional boundaries and link state and federal funding streams into an inherently local endeavor” (M. Blank, 2005, p. 251)[2].  






There is a consensus in the full-service schools community around the need for the development of coordinating entities at each level of implementation (local, district, state and federal) to facilitate the vertical alignment and horizontal coordination of resources and agencies. The “Promising Neighborhoods Initiative” aims to replicate Harlem Children’s Zone in twenty cities across the nation. To facilitate successful scaling-up and the sustainability of this model, HCZ and PolicyLink (2008)[3] identify the need for a new federal governance structure and recommend the formation of an independent, autonomous agency with cross-agency advisors that report directly to the Secretary of Education. At the state level the Coalition for Community Schools has advocated for a similar body: the creation of State Community Learning and Development Councils (PolicyLink, 2009, p. 4)[4]. This move towards horizontal alignment is furthered by the latest guidelines issued by the Department of Education for the use of Title I Funds that support the hiring of a “coordinator to facilitate the delivery of health, nutrition, and social services to the school’s students in partnership with local service providers.” (Department of Education, 2009, p. 29).



Dedicated funding streams and specific Webmail legislation for Full-Service Community Schools is limited at the federal level. The Full-Service Community Schools Program, part of the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE), established in 2008, under reauthorization of ESEA, has a budget of $5 million. In September the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senator Ben Nelson reintroduced the Full-Service Community Schools Act, 2009

– it is currently pending. 






The Stimulus Package provides a unique context for the furthering of full-service community school friendly policy. Recent amendments to the application guidelines acknowledge the valid role of full-service schools in education reform, especially in chronically underperforming schools and have incorporated the concept of horizontal alignment at school, district and state levels. Consisting primarily of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the stimulus package provides more than $4.35 billion for the education programs: Race to the Top, Title 1 School Improvement Grants and Investing in Innovation Fund amongst others.


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  1. Policy image retrieved from: http://swiftandchangeable.org/media/Who%20We%20Are//unclesam.jpg
  2. Blank, M. J. (2005). Reaching out to create a movement. In J.G. Dryfoos, J. Quinn, & C. Barkin (Eds.), Community Schools in Action (pp. 243 – 258). New York: NY: Oxford University Press.
  3. Policy Link and Harlem Children’s Zone. (2009). Promise neighborhoods: Recommendations for a national children’s Anti-Poverty Program inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone: Revised May 18, 2009. Retrieved on October 22, 2009 from email provided by Harlem Children’s Zone to author.
  4. PolicyLink (2009, October) Forging Equity and Excellence in Education: Integrating out of School Learning into National Education Policy. After the Bell Rings: Learning Outside of the Classroom and Its Relationship to Student Achievement. Symposium conducted at ETS, Washington, D.C.

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