Policy Corner

Your resource for updates about our policy priorities.

At Communities In Schools, we work directly inside K-12 schools to build relationships that empower students to stay in school and succeed in life. Among the students who receive our most intensive supports, 99 percent remained in school, 93 percent were promoted to the next grade, and 88 percent met or made progress toward their academic improvement goals.

We use an Integrated Student Supports model to both decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates. Help us tackle chronic absenteeism and increase the number of students graduating ready for college.

The Every Student Succeeds Act

In December 2015, with leadership from Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative John Kline (R-MN) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a major overhaul of the nation’s federal education law.

Among the most important measures in the new law is a provision that allows local communities to tap critically needed resources to connect low income students with the help they need to stay in school. The new law includes specific language allowing Title I funding for integrated student supports (i.e. wraparound services), a local and school-based approach that removes academic and non-academic barriers to student achievement. It also enables local educators to access competitive grants to work with integrated student supports providers like Communities In Schools and encourages local communities to utilize evidence-based programs proven to help low-income students succeed in school.

Through this legislation:

  • Districts and schools now must adopt evidence-based programs to improve academic outcomes in their lowest-performing schools.
  • Schools and districts will gain access to competitive grants to adopt programs that demonstrate evidence of effectiveness.
  • Local communities are given greater freedom to invest federal resources for integrated student supports (also known as wraparound services, the model for how we work in schools).
  • State accountability systems, which help determine overall school ratings and supports, will have to include a non-academic indicator of school quality, such as chronic absenteeism.
ESSA Signing

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99%of our students stayed in school