On May 18, the California State Board of Education approved the first round of grants out of the $3B California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP) our alliance pushed to win!

The California Community Schools Partnership Program is a historic opportunity for school transformation. These funds will support students, families, educators and community members in 458 schools and 268 districts to build racially just, relationship centered community schools in their communities over the next five to seven years.

Public Advocates and our partners at the California Partnership for the Future of Learning worked with students, families, community members, and educators to shape the California Community Schools Framework. Core commitments to shared power and decision making with students, families, community partners and educators, and restorative school climate and culture are expectations of any community school. Community schools must be more than traditional schools with student services; schools themselves must transform to rethink roles and relationships.

“For my schools, receiving this community schools grant will mean so many things, but most importantly to me and my community, it will let us have a voice and an active seat at the table.” – Maritza Bermudez, parent leader in Anaheim schools, Organizer with Orange County Congregation Community Organization, a member of PICO CA Education for Liberation

Transformation happens when students, families, communities, and educators, especially those who are low-income Black, Indigenous, and most impacted by inequity, are authentic partners with school and district leaders in co-creating community schools. Join us in working together to create racially just and relationship centered community schools.

Art by Brandie Bowen

In the face of a public education system that has historically marginalized BIPOC students and severely underfunded their education, this illustration imagines the joyful ascension that can occur when schools become transformative places for youth to thrive and abolish the oppressive limits set out for them. – Artist Brandie Bowen.

Take Action Today

  • Did your school or district receive a community schools grant? To find out if your community will receive an implementation grant of $150,000 to $500,000 a year for five years to improve an existing community school or establish a new school, search this list. (Districts are listed at the top and specific schools are listed below.) To find out if your school district will receive a planning grant of up to $200,000 to create new community schools in your district, search this list. After completing the planning process, districts can apply for implementation grants.
  • If your community is receiving a grant, you have the right to partner with your school and/or district to co-create racially just, relationship-centered community schools. Districts and schools must support teams to authentically partner with students, families, educators and community partners to make shared decisions about their community schools. Ask your principal, superintendent, school board members and district leaders to invite students and families to a public meeting now to plan for next year.
  • Ask your school and district to fulfill these 6 Key Commitments for transformative community schools that came from students, families, educators and community partners. Share these commitments directly with school and district leaders at meetings about community schools and in public comment to your school board.
  • What if my school or district is not receiving a community schools grant? It’s not too late to take action, if you make sure your district applies for funding in the next round of applications in 2023.

Thank you for your support. Together, we can create racially just and relationship centered community schools.

Public Advocates Inc. is a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, transportation equity, and climate justice.

The California Partnership for the Future of Learning is a statewide alliance of community organizing and advocacy groups advancing a shared vision of a transformational, racially just education system built for us all. It is led by Advancement Project California, Californians for Justice, PICO California Education4Liberation, and Public Advocates, with the support of Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle, and over a dozen grassroots, research and philanthropic partners. Our work together centers equity, elevates the voices of students and families of color in partnership with educators, focuses on long-term systemic change, and connects to a larger national effort to strengthen public education systems.

Art by Brandie Bowen.

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