An Act To Create Community Schools
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA c. 333 is enacted to read:
§ 9921. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 9922. Establishment of a community school
Beginning October 1, 2015, a school board may designate an existing school or establish a new school as a community school.
§ 9923. Pilot project for community schools
The department is authorized to designate 5 community schools established in accordance with this chapter as part of a 5-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. The commissioner shall provide state funding to the school administrative units in which the designated community schools are located and may employ a state community school coordinator to implement this pilot project. Annual state allocations for this pilot project may not exceed $250,000.
This section is repealed July 1, 2021.
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §15689-A, sub-§25 is enacted to read:
This bill authorizes a school board to designate an existing school or establish a new school to be a community school that participates with community partners to provide various educational and social services to students, families and community members. The bill provides the steps a school board must complete in order to establish a new community school, including conducting a community needs audit, conducting a community resource assessment and developing a community school plan, and requires that a school board that designates an existing school as a community school must also conduct a school operations and instructional audit.
The bill requires a school board that establishes a community school to report annually to the Department of Education on the school's progress and provides that the Commissioner of Education must submit an annual report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters that includes an evaluation of the community schools in operation during the prior school year. The bill also authorizes the Department of Education to provide funding, including funds allocated for a 5-year pilot project beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, to support the implementation of community schools.