The State Senate this week approved legislation sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) and Senator Pat Browne (R-16) that would establish a pilot program to encourage community-based services into Pennsylvania schools.
Langerholc, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said Senate Bill 850 would create the “Community Engaged Schools for Success” Pilot Program to encourage community partners to work with designated schools to provide student support services.
“This program will connect students and their families with community-based organizations that address both academic and nonacademic barriers to learning and provide support and case management services to help students succeed,” Langerholc said. “This includes giving students access to medical and mental health services, tutoring, food, dental, clothing, career and higher education planning, and employment.”
Schools that qualify would be eligible for grants of up to $125,000 from the Department of Education to appoint a manager and a coordinator to implement community engagement plans.
“This legislation would establish a pilot program to encourage community collaboration in schools, similar to the Communities in Schools program used by the Allentown School District in my district that have proven successful,” Browne said. “By allowing the integration of innovative and creative community-based services into our schools, we are giving consideration to every available avenue of support to ensure students receive the assistance and guidance they need to be successful students.”
“I am pleased to join Senator Langerholc in sponsoring this important legislation that continues our legislative interest in providing the necessary resources to allow our students to flourish in school and later in life,” Browne said.
“Providing community resources to students at school will allow them to cultivate partnerships to further reach their potential,” Langerholc said. “This legislation will expand on the innovative work that is already showing tremendous success in schools and encourage others to offer the same services.”
The legislation now heads to the House for consideration.
Gwenn Dando (Langerholc) (717)787-5400
Matt Moyer (Browne) (717)-787-1349