(Mar. 18) – The House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, that will provide a baseline statutory guidance for how public schools can operate as a community school. Statutorily defining community schools would open up the possibility for additional federal education funding and research shows that students in low-performing schools achieve more in the classroom when they switch to schools with a community school model.
“The community school model has been shown to increase student achievement through strategic partnerships among families, educators, and community partners,” said Rep. Titone. “This bill will help provide a potential avenue for these schools to acquire the resources they need to serve Colorado’s most vulnerable kids and put them on the road to success.”
A community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Community schools empower teachers and recognize a community’s important role in the education of its kids. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone.
SB19-102 defines ‘community school’ and permits public schools to include a community school in their innovation plan to allow these schools to operate as such.
The bill passed out of the House with a party line vote of 40-24. It now heads back to the Senate to vote on the added minor amendments.