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Communities In Schools Calls on Congress to Restore Funding for Programs That Benefit America's At-Risk Students

By Communities In Schools Feb. 12, 2018

Media Contact: Steve Majors | MajorsS@cisnet.org | 703.518.2554

Arlington, Va. - Feb. 12, 2018 -  Communities In Schools (CIS), the national network that works inside K-12 district and charter schools, empowering at-risk students to reach their full potential, today expressed deep concern about the proposed budget released by President Trump’s administration, and its potential effect on the nation’s most disadvantaged students. The budget proposal released today reduces overall education discretionary spending by billions, including the elimination of 29 programs within the U.S. Department of Education. 

These eliminations include the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which funds before-school, after-school and summer learning programs that provide vital services and enrichment opportunities for two million low-income students and their families. The proposal also eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers AmeriCorps and places caring adults in schools nationwide. If enacted, the proposed cuts would severely impact the ability of CIS and other youth-serving organizations to deliver services to children most in need.

Communities in Schools President and CEO Dale Erquiaga called the cuts, like the ones proposed last year by President Trump’s administration, drastic and short-sighted.

“Nearly 14.5 million children under the age of 18 live in poverty and every day must overcome barriers to getting their shot at the American Dream,” said Erquiaga.  “A great nation cannot pick and choose among its people, and now is not the time to cut programs that aid the children who need the most support. I hope Congress will restore these education programs, particularly those which allow our school-based staff to connect students with critical resources including academic assistance, meals, mentoring, coaching for college and career readiness coaching as well as physical and enrichment activities. We owe it to our most vulnerable populations to support them in overcoming the adult-sized challenges they face.”

Erquiaga said Communities In Schools will be working closely with other youth-serving organizations to explain the impact of those cuts to lawmakers in Congress, who have the power to reject these cuts and invest in the health and well-being of our young people. In addition, CIS network leaders from across the country will join student alumni and visit Capitol Hill on April 26th to make the case for restoring funding for services proven effective at helping at-risk students. Among the proof they will cite is a body of evidence that demonstrates that the CIS model of services – known as Integrated Student Supports -  helps students break through the barriers of poverty that often prevent them from succeeding in school.

In the most recent school year for which data is available, 99 percent of CIS case-managed students stayed in school, 94 percent were promoted to the next grade, 93 percent graduated or received a GED and 88 percent improved their academics.

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About Communities In Schools

Working directly in more than 2,350 schools in 25 states and the District of Columbia, Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization proven to keep students in school and on the path to graduation. For the 2016-2017 school year, Communities In Schools served nearly 1.6 million students and successfully helped 99 percent of our case-managed students stay in school.