MADISON – Senator Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and Representative Chris Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) unveiled legislation Tuesday to help create and sustain community schools in local public school districts across our state.
“Every child in Wisconsin deserves a fair shot and an equal opportunity to receive a quality education,” said Sen. Larson. “That’s why it’s unacceptable that our public schools have faced catastrophic cuts, while taxpayer dollars flow to unaccountable private voucher schools. The Community Schools Act helps reverse this trend and guarantees that our students have the support they need to succeed, both in and out of the classroom.”
The Community Schools Act provides start-up funding for community schools, which offer students and families a variety of critical programs and resources on top of a traditional curriculum. These services include physical and mental health care, after-school care, academic mentoring, and family support. The goal of these programs is to promote student learning, strengthen families, and create healthier communities. The community school model depends on collaboration with partner organizations to achieve these goals.
“We often think of schools as serving a single purpose: teachers teach and students learn,” said Rep. Sinicki. “But our children need more than that. If we want a fair and equal opportunity for every student, we need to address the other factors that impact student success, like access to a healthy diet, medical and dental care, and a safe, stable environment before and after school.”
The Community Schools Act includes provisions to ensure that both rural and urban school districts in Wisconsin can benefit from the host of opportunities the community school model provides.
The deadline for legislators to sign on as a co-sponsor is Thursday, May 11 and will subsequently be formally introduced.