A Bipartisan Effort for Healthier Schools?

July 30, 2014

U. S. Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL, Peoria) and U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have introduced federal legislation that would provide nutrition and health care along with education for children from low-income households. It’s called the “Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2014” which defines a community school as one that participates in a community-based effort to coordinate family, health and other services for student and community members throughout the year.

This would authorize a grant program directed mostly toward low-income communities to support integration of education, health and other support services in communities of need.

As Representative Whip stated:

“For low-income parents working multiple jobs as they send their kids to school, finding time to provide them with adequate checkups and dental screening is often very difficult. The full-community schools model locates these services at their children's school along with nutritional counseling, financial literacy education, and adult classes – services that in most communities are already offered – to make it easier for both students and parents to access these services under one roof. It also helps ensure parents have the tools they need to support their children's learning, so critically important to the children’s success. Studies show that when children are healthy, they learn better and have a better chance at academic success.”

As we have often observed, student health can either be a key driver for or a barrier to student success. While there are many models supporting student health, community schools can play an important role in improving health and academic outcomes for students in need. That’s why we are supporting this bill. Thank you to our partners at the Coalition for Community Schools for stepping up and helping our leaders understand the need for bipartisan efforts to support student health.