Returning from Town Meeting break, legislators worked last week, advancing several policy bills that will affect education.
H.106, draft 9.1, known as the “Community Schools Act,” passed out of committee favorably and was referred to House Appropriations. This bill, which would take effect upon passage, would provide a grant program for the implementation of community schools programs, providing students with equitable access to a high-quality education at a public school that includes integrated student supports, expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities, active family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership and practices. An “eligible school” would be a public school or SU with a student body where 40% of students or more are eligible for free/reduced-price lunch or has been identified for comprehensive or equity support and intervention under ESEA or otherwise identified by the State as being in need of additional support. Provisions in the bill include:
annual demonstration grants of up to $110,000.00 a year for a period of three years to hire a community school coordinator to develop and implement a program or to augment work already being performed to develop and implement a community school program,
technical assistance from the AOE to eligible applicants to advise eligible applicants of other potential sources of funding, and evaluate the program, and
an appropriation of $1.53 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).
H.91 would suspend implementation of the statewide finance and financial data management system pending a review of