Biden-Harris administration announces nearly $74 million to expand full-service community schools

November 28, 2023
Grants will drive academic success and provide wraparound supports to students, educators, and families

The U.S. Department of Education today announced nearly $74 million in new, five-year Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grants to support an additional 30 local educational agencies, nonprofits, and other public or private organizations and institutions of higher education working to expand community schools including by making awards in four new states: Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Ohio. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will highlight this announcement during a FSCS visit to Idaho today.

“These new investments support what I’ve heard from parents and families across the country. Additional funding will deepen community partnerships and connect children and families to vital resources that meet their holistic needs. We know that comprehensive, wrap-around approaches—including nutrition assistance; mental health services; early childhood education; and access to high-quality afterschool summer learning, and enrichment programs—all are crucial for accelerating our students’ academic success and their recovery from the pandemic by helping them thrive both inside and outside of school,” said Secretary Cardona. “I am proud that the Biden-Harris Administration is expanding the number of community schools across the country as an evidence-based strategy to Raise the Bar in education and to deliver on our commitment to support students, families, and whole communities.”

This investment builds on the Department’s extensive record of supporting academic success, expanding access to mental health and health services, supporting strong family engagement and community partnerships, and helping schools provide students and families with the resources they need to thrive.

Research indicates that positive learning environments where students receive key services—including nutritional, dental, vision, and mental health services—are critical for accelerating academic recovery. Students learn better, have increased attendance, and are more engaged in their learning environment when their whole needs are met.

The Biden-Harris Administration has expanded Full-Service Community Schools five-fold, from $25 million in 2020 to $150 million in 2023. Community schools collaborate with local non-profits, health providers, private partners, and other agencies to coordinate and deliver services like health care, mental health and nutrition services, afterschool and summer programming, and high-quality early learning programs.

“When I was in graduate school, I worked for a time as a teacher at Conte Community School in Connecticut where I saw firsthand how programs that meet the needs of the whole child support the development of social and emotional skills, promote academic success, and improve overall wellbeing,” said Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro. “Over four years as Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee, funding for full-service community schools was one of my top priorities, and I was proud to expand the program nearly tenfold from $17.5 million in fiscal year 2019 to $150 million in fiscal year 2023. I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to maintain and expand these investments in future budgets.”

This announcement comes as Secretary Cardona is visiting a full-service community school district in Boise, Idaho, that is supported by United Way of Treasure Valley, a recipient of this year’s grant announcement. More information can be found here.

This year’s grantees will support 102 school districts, 292 schools, and 229,549 students by providing a range of services, including by increasing early learning opportunities and expanding cross-agency coordination for community violence interventions.

The new grantees are committed to implementing the four pillars of evidence-based community schools that improve achievement and other outcomes for students: 1) integrated student supports that address out-of-school barriers to learning through partnerships with social and health service agencies and providers; 2) expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities; 3) active family and community engagement; and 4) collaborative leadership and practices.

The awards will help grow local capacity to support community schools (Capacity Building and Development grants); build partnerships across school district lines to implement and sustain community schools (Multi-Local Agency Grants); and expand State-level work to sustain, strengthen, and expand community schools (State Scaling grants).

With these new awards, the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded FSCS grants in 30 states and territories.

The new Full-Service Community Schools awardee in South Carolina is listed below:

Applicant State/Territory Year 1 Award Grant Type 
Spartanburg Academic Movement South Carolina $3,000,000 Multi-Local Educational Agency

For the full list of grantees and abstracts, please visit the Full-Service Community Webpage.