EDU: Education Department Opens Grant Application for $73.8 Million to Raise the Bar for Student Well-being through Full-Service Community Schools

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Executive Summary:

  • The U.S. Department of Education released a Notice Inviting Applications for the Fiscal Year (FY23) Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant program, designed to support academic acceleration and provide comprehensive child support.
  • The program has seen a five-fold funding increase, reaching over 1,700 schools, up from 170 schools before 2021.
  • For FY23, $73.8 million will be awarded to approximately 45 grants across the country to support services such as tutoring, health, mental health, nutrition, and out-of-school time and early learning programs.
  • The program encourages partnerships with non-profit, private sector, and agency partners to meet the unique needs of each community.
  • The 2023 competition will maintain an emphasis on quality implementation and expand the evidence base through a national evaluation.

Unedited Press Release Text:

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) today released a Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grant program that supports academic acceleration and provides academic and whole child supports to build and strengthen connections between schools, parents, families, and their surrounding communities. This program advances Secretary Cardona’s Raise the Bar call to action around evidence-based strategies that advance educational equity and excellence for all students. Specifically, this program drives community-based resources to support student’s academic advancement and mental health, among other needs.

Meeting the needs and building on the assets of the whole child is essential to help America’s students grow academically and improve their well-being. That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration  is committed to increasing and supporting the adoption of community school models across the country. Since the President took office, the program has seen a five-fold increase in funding and an expansion of the program’s reach from 170 schools before 2021 to now reaching more than 1,700 schools.  Community schools meet the unique needs of the neighborhoods they serve by leveraging local assets, intentionally collaborating with non-profit, private sector, and agency partnerships to bring services into school buildings. The FY 2023 FSCS competition will award $73.8 million to support an estimated 45 grants across the country to coordinate services such as high-quality tutoring, health, mental health and nutrition services, and high-quality out-of-school time and early learning programs, among others, for students and the community.

“Full-service community schools embrace the role that schools play as the trusted center of our communities, and build on that role by offering students and families access to wraparound supports and services, from tutoring and mental health counseling to nutrition assistance, violence prevention, and more,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’ve visited community schools across the country and seen firsthand how they break down silos among education, health care, nonprofits, and government agencies to meet the needs of the whole child and lift up entire families and neighborhoods. The Biden-Harris team believes in the promise and potential of community schools to transform education and spur the kind of intentional collaboration we need to raise the bar for students’ academic excellence and wellbeing.”

Through this commitment, the Department will help spur the planning and capacity-building, development, implementation, operation, and coordination of effective services for students and families, particularly in urban and rural areas with high rates of poverty. The FY 2023 competition will assist in scaling programs, including building their capacity to serve multiple schools, expanding successful models to multiple districts, and implementing evidence-based strategies statewide. Recognizing the impact schools play throughout a student’s development, the Department is also interested in applications that plan to meet students’ social emotional, and academic needs; coordinate across multiple agencies to prevent and address community violence; and focus on supporting the transitions from early learning settings into kindergarten and from kindergarten into the early elementary grades.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Bernadine Futrell, PhD, will lift the new grant competition later today during the opening session of the National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference in Philadelphia.

This year’s competition maintains an emphasis on quality implementation through the four pillars of community schools – (1) integrated student supports; (2) expanded and enriched learning time; (3) active family and community engagement; and (4) collaborative leadership and practices – and seeks to expand the evidence base through a national evaluation that will study the implementation of the FY 2023 FSCS grants that are awarded. Additionally, the notice includes an invitational priority to support effective transitions between early childhood education and elementary school settings, uplifting the critical inflection point of the kindergarten year and the developmental needs of every student and support them on a path for early school success.

The 2023 competition also builds on several efforts from the administration and Department to support local, district and state efforts to scale community schools. For example, the administration released a Community School Toolkit in January showcasing how federal funding sources may be used to support community schools. The resources from the White House and the Department emphasize the role full-service community schools play in providing academic supports, integrated health and social services, and engagement opportunities to students while also creating stronger connections between families, communities, and their local public schools. These priorities align with the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to scale evidence-based approaches to support students’ academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being.

For more information on the Full-Service Community Schools Grant program visit Full-Service Community Schools Program (FSCS) – Office of Elementary and Secondary Education



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