The Department of Education has announced Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) Program awards for nine organizations in six states. The awards are for a maximum of $2.5 million over five years, with a minimum match of 20 percent in non-federal resources strongly encouraged. Three of the nine recipients for 2014, will work to support federally-designated Promise Zones, economically distressed communities that through a competitive application process are determined to need additional federal support to create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime.
- Youth Policy Institute (Los Angeles), $2.5 million over 5 years
- Berea College (Berea, Ky.), $2.4 million over 5 years
- San Antonio Independent School District (Texas), $2.2 million over five years.
The other recipients include:
- Lancaster County Partners for youth, South Carolina, $2.2 million over five years
- Oakland Unified School District, California, $2.4 million over five years
- Montclair State University, New Jersey, $2.4 million over five years
- Southwest Key Programs, Austin, Texas, $2.4 million over five years
- Frida Kahlo Community Organization, Chicago, $2.4 million over five years
- Los Angeles Education Partnership, California, $2.5 million over five years
The Full Service Community Schools Program is housed under the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE) at the Department of Education. The model uses a collaborative approach to support partnerships between public elementary and secondary schools; the schools’ local educational agencies (LEAs); and community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other public or private entities. The model provides “comprehensive academic, social, and health services for students, students’ family members, and community members that will result in improved educational outcomes for children” according to the Department. Services may include early learning programs, academic supports and enrichment, family engagement, mentoring, career counseling, health, social service guidance, mental health, and English as a second language programs. Designated Promise Zones receive a number of benefits, including five dedicated AmeriCorps VISTA members, a federal liaison, and preference for certain competitive federal programs and technical assistance. The U.S. Department of Education is among the first federal agencies to prioritize Promise Zone applicants for federal funding. Judith Fenlon is the money and business editor of The Imprint