The Senate Education Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) that would establish a pilot program to implement community-based services into Pennsylvania schools.
Langerholc, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said the legislation was drafted as a result of a recent hearing that highlighted a number of innovative programs that are improving student support and learning by providing them with greater access to community resources.
“These programs connect students and their families with community-based organizations that address both academic and nonacademic barriers to learning and provide case management services to help students succeed,” Langerholc said. “This includes giving students access to dental, medical and mental health services, tutoring, food and clothing, and family literacy.”
Langerholc said his legislation would expand upon an already successful model that is currently utilized at Greater Johnstown School District. The legislation creates a pilot program that designates Community Engaged Schools by the Secretary of Education. The school would then appoint a program manager to implement a community engagement plan and to serve as the point of contact to facilitate the relationship between the school and community.
“Community involvement in our schools helps students to obtain the resources they need to learn better and reach their full potential,” Langerholc said. “Connecting students and their families with a large and valuable network of community resources is key to helping young people. This legislation will expand on the innovative work that is already showing tremendous success in schools and encourage others to offer the same services.”
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