How Community based schools work
Community schools are partnerships between public and private organizations. The school becomes a hub for the community. These schools not only teach students but also provide access to services families needs. “It’s integration of academics and services leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities” (Blank, Heifets, Shah, & Nissani, 2004, p. 155). Community based schools use partnerships to build community consensus and carryout programs that would normally not be available to the community. For example, community schools provide a clothing closet, emergency food, counseling, and limited health care for families ...view middle of the document...
Note: since schools rarely give individual demographic numbers, county public school demographics were used. While the fiscal years are different, the student population is comparable in size. “The demographic population of community schools are much the same as public schools since community schools are enhanced public schools and do not turn any students away based on ability” (Official, Coalition for Community schools, personal communication, April 26, 2005).
Community schools are funded in several ways. Many community schools receive grants from philanthropic organization such as Carnegie Corp., Charles Stewart Mott foundation, and Knowledge Works to name a few. Additional funding is provided by the Department of Education. On average, the department gives schools $250,000 in funds to support the No Child Left behind (NCLB) act. In 2005, the total federal budget for NCLB was about $992 million (Community schools Online, April 12, 2005). An official from the Coalition for Community Schools stated, “public schools could also use philanthropy to help increase student achievement” (personal communication, April 26, 2005). Saint Paul School system spent $9,810.00 per pupil (Saint Paul school official, personal communication, April 28, 2005), while Harford County expenditure was $7,304 per pupil.
According to (James Jewell, personal communication, April 26, 2005) public schools in Maryland, in particular Harford County are funded primarily through property tax revenue. Almost one hundred percent of funds are split equally between the State and Harford County. The Federal allotment this year was 386,057. (Jewell, 2005). From Table 5, one can easily note that investment in public schools has grown over the last three fiscal years (general operating fund for Harford County Schools 2004-2005). Harford County ranks sixth among counties for unrestricted state funds (general operating fund for Harford County Schools 2004-2005). “Unrestricted funds refer to money provided by funding authorities to be used as the Board of Education determines appropriate” (D. Morrison, personal communication, April 27, 2005). According to Morrison, transportation, instructional salaries, and materials are examples of the above funding (April 27, 2005).
Standards for community schools
As mentioned, community schools are public schools with enhanced community and corporate support. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) is currently the driving force behind curriculum in community schools, traditional public schools and charter schools.
“Over the next twenty years, investment in education could add an additional 400 billion to the Gross Domestic Product” (Over view of the No Child Left Behind Act, Education and the Economy, 2004). The act has four main goals:
Mandate that each state set academic standards for each grade level. Our federal government is asking the state to set academic achievement goals for each grade level. For example,...