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Policy Update


Senate Passes Every Child Achieves Act 

Good News for Community Schools!


On Thursday, July 16, the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), legislation that proposes to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB). 
ECAA included strong support for community schools. The Senate passed Senator Sherrod Brown's (D-OH) community schools amendment, establishing a Full Service Community Schools program within the Department of Education, as well as an amendment to allow Title IV dollars to be used for community school work.
This is great news for community schools in Illinois and around the country, and a great example of bipartisan support for this work. Your voice made this victory possible! We thank all of our members who took to social media, email, and phone to advocate for community schools and educating lawmakers on how this work impacts our children, families, and communities.
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Communities and Schools in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Receive National Community Schools Awards for Excellence

The Coalition for Community Schools has announced this year's Community School Award for Excellence recipients. The winners represent the best of what community schools have to offer in red and blue states, in cities and suburbs, and in all different levels and types of schools.

Each of the 7 winners, which include both individual schools and multi-site community initiatives, brings a unique story of success. Organized to respond to local conditions, these awardees are tackling some of today's most pressing issues that influence young people's development - poverty, safety, and equitable access to opportunities. They demonstrate how public schools can become community hubs that bring together educators, families, and community partners to offer a range of opportunities and supports to families, communities, and young people.

John Hancock College Preparatory High School in Chicago was an award recipient. Through its partnership with Youth Guidance, Hancock has increased its social-emotional support for students, through programs like Becoming A Man (BAM), as well as enrichment opportunities that enable students to exercise leadership skills. It is paying off in the form of attendance rates increasing from 70 percent in 2010 to 90% last year, decreased dropout rates, and the five-year graduation rate improving by 20%. All their efforts combined have led to academic gains and a positive school climate and culture. 
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Thanks for Joining Us in Springfield!

Many thanks to the 130+ participants who joined us (in person or virtually) in Springfield on April 29 for our Community Schools & Afterschool Programs Advocacy Day hosted in partnership with the ACT Now Coalition.  Program staff, parents, and students from Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Champaign-Ford ROE, Elev8 Chicago / Mikva Challenge, Family Focus, ICOY, Illinois Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, MFS, Project Success of Vermillion CountyThe Jackson Initiative, YMCA, and Youth with a Positive Direction collectively met with 74 elected officials.

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Wisconsin Stakeholders Visit Chicago to Learn about Community Schools

On April 24 a bus load of 75 parents, teachers, funders and elected officials from Wisconsin arrived at Shields Middle School, in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood.  They were there to learn about community schools and see for themselves how community school partnerships like the one between Shields and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council (BPNC) address the holistic needs of the children and families they serve.  The site visit, co-hosted by the Federation and CPS' Community Schools Initiative, was designed to provide a wide range of stakeholders with an understanding of the key functions of a community school and strategies for supporting community school implementation in their own communities.  Participants included representatives from  from United Way of Racine County, United Way of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Teachers Union, Madison School District, and Wisconsin Jobs Now. 

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