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Community schools are collaboratively imagined and democratically run public schools designed to meet the unique needs of local students. Through authentic governance structures and a bottom-up approach, educators, students, parents and community organizations utilize a model of shared decision making to provide academic, emotional and community support for student success. Over the past two state budget cycles, California has invested $4.1 billion — more than any other state — to support and expand community schools through the California Community Schools Partnership Program. Funding to support these ground-breaking schools, designed to disrupt poverty and address racial, economic and other inequities, is through grants from the California Department of Education. Now, a second-round of grant funding for community schools is underway, creating opportunities for organizing and for expanding these transformative opportunities for students.

• Beginning Jan. 17, 2023, the application period for a second round of implementation grants — grants for those districts and Local Education Agencies with an existing community schools program — will open.

• Application deadline is March 17, 2023. Implementation grants are funding for up to five years for up to $500,000, depending on a school’s enrollment. (A second round of planning grant applications closed on Dec. 20.) At the core of developing community schools is organizing and building the shared decision-making structures that transform public schools. Districts must work with local chapters when applying for these grants. Be sure to talk to your superintendent if you have not heard from them, and CTA and local staff are available to help.

At the core of developing community schools is organizing and building the shared decision-making structures that transform public schools.

Around the state, local chapters whose districts received planning or implementation grants during the first round are working with districts to pass school board resolutions, create steering committees, hire community school coordinators, negotiate for community schools as part of collective bargaining agreements, or take steps toward democratically identifying school sites. None of this would be happening without the commitment and hard work of educators invested in the work and promise of community schools. CTA’s recently adopted organizing plan has resources to support local chapters and grant opportunities that can be used to build organizing capacity around community schools. For information, go to More resources on community schools is at For details on CDE grants for community schools, go to

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