Minnesota Education Bill Funds Expansion of Full-service Community Schools
On Wednesday May 24, 2023, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law the Omnibus K–12 Education budget and policy bill approving $23.2 billion in support of Minnesota’s children and families. This investment creates new opportunities for students and educators, provides historic funding stability for Minnesota schools, and includes funding specifically designated for the support and expansion of the full-service community school model.
“This funding means even more families across Minnesota can attend schools that support entire communities,” says Richard Gibson, director of the Achievement Plus community school partnership at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
Full-service community schools combine several evidence-based strategies designed to support student and family success: Community service partnerships, family and community engagement, enriched and extended learning, and collaborative leadership. Minnesota has been a leader in the full-service community school movement with models in place in rural, suburban and metro-area school districts across the state. This bill, designating $15 million in full-service community school grant opportunities over the next two years, will help sustain and expand the model to other Minnesota schools and districts in support of their local school communities.
For more than 20 years, the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation has partnered with St. Paul Public Schools in support of the Achievement Plus Full-service Community Schools model.
“The Achievement Plus community school model brings together a level of service coordination to our school community that would be very difficult and time consuming for other school staff to do on their own. Achievement Plus enriches our overall school community—for students, families, staff, and even the surrounding neighborhood,” says Amanda Musachio, Principal of Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary.
Wilder is thrilled with this progress and offers thanks to the bill’s lead authors, Senator Mary Kunesh and Representative Samantha Vang, for their work in seeing the bill through into law. With this funding in place, Achievement Plus, as well as other schools and districts across Minnesota, now have an expanded opportunity to implement this proven strategy in support of children and families.