City Councilors urge legislature to fund ‘Community Schools’ program

Politics - Government

Albuquerque City Councilors will be voting on a bill that would implement a new way of schooling, one that gets the parents and community involved in a child’s education.

Officials say it’s designed to take the pressure off of families so teachers can teach and kids can learn.

According to City Councilor Cynthia Borrego, this model would be extremely beneficial for families who may not have access to resources, such as those in lower income areas.

Her resolution urges the state legislature to support and provide funding for the schools that would like to implement a “community schools” model.

“For some areas, it offers them additional support to the family unit. There are a lot of people out there right now who can use that support,” said Borrego.

What exactly is a community school?

A community school builds partnerships between the school and other community resources and acts as a location where those partnerships may be utilized.  

Officials say in a typical school you would see some type of family engagement program, like a PTA, an after-school program and a school nurse.

In a community school, they have even more resources at the school which helps make it more accessible for parents.

This is made possible through community partnerships providing resources like health and social services, as well as youth, family and community engagement and development.

Families are then connected to them through a community school coordinator.

“We would also see as that moves out from the classroom. Families becoming more connected to their child’s education, families becoming more stable, communities more stable and engaged, and more supportive of the educational process,” said Danette Townsend, Executive Director of ABC Community School Partnership.

Officials say it costs about $150,000 per school to implement the community school model.

Currently, there are 25 community schools in Albuquerque. Six of them want to become a community school but are waiting for funding for the community school coordinator position.

City council is expected to make a final vote on the resolution Wednesday night. 

Councilor Borrego says the next step will be sending a letter to each member of state legislature urging their consideration.

To see the resolution, click here. 

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