Biden Administration Boosts Grants for Community Schools, Sharpens Funding Priorities

By Libby Stanford — July 12, 2022 2 min read
First-graders Rhiannon Hanson, left, and Holden Ashbrook make fruit skewers in class at Lincoln Elementary School in Dubuque, Iowa, on Jan. 20, 2022. Project Rooted has partnered with Dubuque Community Schools for a pilot program in which it provides monthly boxes containing local foods and a project to first-grade classrooms.
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The Biden administration will prioritize community schools that provide integrated support, expanded learning opportunities, collaborative leadership, and family and community engagement when awarding $68 million in grants through its Full-Service Community Schools Program.

The U.S. Department of Education announced finalized rules and an increase in funding for the program Tuesday. The program has awarded federal funds to schools that provide access to health care, nutritional assistance, mental health supports, violence prevention programs, and tutoring and enrichment opportunities for over a decade.

In past years, the U.S. Department of Education has dedicated a relatively smaller amount, ranging from $5 million in 2009 to $17.5 million in 2018, to community schools. The increased funding in 2022 comes as the administration is proposing to dedicate $468 million to the program in the fiscal 2023 budget.

“For low-income rural and urban communities hit hard by the pandemic, Full-Service Community Schools will help us meet the holistic needs of students, drive our recovery, and pave the way to a more equitable future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The new rules require that schools demonstrate a commitment to “four pillars of community schools”: integrated student supports that address out-of-school barriers to learning; expanded learning time and opportunities; family and community engagement; and collaborative leadership and practices “that build a culture of professional learning, collective trust, and shared responsibility.”

The principles are aimed at assuring higher-quality community schools that directly involve school partners, community organizations, and families, the notice said. The department released the proposed rules in January.

“We applaud the Department’s focus on high-quality implementation of community schools as not only an effective strategy for school improvement but a means to help all children and families realize their fullest potential in and out of school,” said a public comment submitted by Gina Martinez-Keddy, executive director of Parent Teacher Home Visits, a Sacramento, Calif.-based nonprofit dedicated to improving parent and teacher relationships.

The department also created a framework for community school programs to be implemented at the individual school, district, and statewide levels, prioritizing applicants who plan to develop more than one community school in a state or region.

The new rules are part of a flurry of recent education initiatives from the administration. Last week, the White House announced a plan to bring in 250,000 tutors over the next three years through partnerships with AmeriCorps and 75 education organizations. The Education Department has also tightened regulations on incoming charter schools, cracking down on for-profit charter organizations that lead to schools closing within the first few years of opening.

Related Tags:


School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Get a Strong Start to the New School Year
Get insights and actions from Education Week journalists and expert guests on how to start the new school year on strong footing.
Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Use Your 'Teacher Voice,' Jill Biden Urges in a Push for Political Activism
Voting in the midterms is a critical step educators can take to bolster democracy, the first lady and other labor leaders told teachers.
5 min read
First Lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Boston.
First lady Jill Biden speaks during the American Federation of Teachers convention in Boston.
Michael Dwyer/AP
Federal Federal Initiative Leverages COVID Aid to Expand After-School, Summer Learning
The Education Department's Engage Every Student effort includes partnerships with civic organizations and professional groups.
3 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event on June 2, 2022, at the Department of Education in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks at an event at the Department of Education in Washington in June. The department has announced a push for expanded access to after-school and summer learning programs.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Restraint and Seclusion, and Disability Rights: Ed. Department Has Work to Do, Audit Finds
The Government Accountability Office releases a checklist of how the U.S. Department of Education is performing on a list of priorities.
4 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. The Government Accountability Office has released recommended priorities for the Education Department that target special education rights.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Biden's Tutoring Initiative: What Will It Mean for Learning Recovery?
The effort aims to help students by providing a pipeline of support in the recruitment of volunteers and use of COVID aid money.
4 min read
President Joe Biden speaks at Max S. Hayes Hight School, Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Cleveland. The speech showcased a final rule tied to his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package from last year. The rule allows troubled multi-company pensions to be made financially whole, ensuring full benefits for 2 million to 3 million workers and retirees.
President Joe Biden speaks at Max S. Hayes High School in Cleveland. The administration announced a new effort to bring 250,000 tutors and mentors to American schools over the next three years.
David Dermer/AP