For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                     
April 15, 2015                                                                                                                    
Contact: Sen. Larson   608.266.7505                                                                                                                                                                                                         
 Rep. Barnes  608.266.3756  
Sen. Larson and Rep. Barnes Unveil Community Schools Legislation
MADISON – Today, Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) and Wisconsin State Representative Mandela Barnes (D – Milwaukee) announced that they have unveiled legislation that would facilitate the creation of community schools in our local public classrooms: 
“Access to quality public education is a freedom and right that every child deserves, and this legislation will help guarantee that our children and future generations have the necessary supports and skills to succeed year round – both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Rep. Barnes. “While Wisconsin Republicans make historic, catastrophic cuts to our public schools and hand our taxpayer dollars over to unaccountable private voucher schools, this legislation creates innovative pathways for students, parents, teachers, other school staff, and members of the broader community to help make all the stakeholders in our neighborhoods succeed together.”
The aim of the legislation is to provide start-up funding for community schools, which are defined by their focuson improving student learning, strengthening families, and developing healthier communities.  To accomplish these goals, the community school model synthesizes academic, health, and social services with community partner collaboration to provide additional services to the greater surrounding communities.
“We, as a state, need to come up with innovative ways to ensure every child has an equal and fair opportunity at a high quality education,” said Sen. Larson. “Our bill not only provides schools the resources to succeed academically, but will also allow our community schools to address factors we know impact a student’s ability to thrive in school, such as access to a healthy diet, counseling services, medical and dental care, and a safe environment before and after school.”
This legislation is being circulated for cosponsors and will be introduced shortly.
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