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NEA Issue Explainer

Community Schools

Full-service community schools meet students’ academic and enrichment needs by recognizing that many students are coping with serious issues that affect their ability to learn and thrive in the classroom.
Published: December 2, 2021
This issue explainer originally appeared on

Federal legislation can help expand the full-service public community school model, which features high-quality teaching and learning, family and community partnerships, community school coordinators, and a full suite of support services for students and families, such as health and nutrition services and mentoring programs.

Community schools fit each neighborhood’s unique needs—from offering food pantries to providing mental health counseling—and offer strategies designed to meet challenges identified by educators, students, families, local organizations, and social service agencies.

Dig Deeper

happy student in classroom

What are Community Schools?

Community Schools mobilize students, families, educators, and community members to develop a grassroots vision for their schools and communities, and they work together to achieve their vision.
students and staff distribute food at a community school

New Federal Bill Promotes Public Schools as Community Hubs

Integrated academic, health, nutrition, and economic services will transform outcomes for all students.
AA teacher

How Community Schools Reduce Crushing Educator Workload

The community schools model enlists local partners to provide enrichment and other student services, taking pressure off educators.

Speak Up For Students and Public Schools

When we act together and lift our voices together in unison, we can improve the lives of children.
Members march down the street wearing red and carrying signs.

Together we're stronger. Together we're heard.

You belong in the movement! Join today to belong to the movement of educators and school staff fighting for the pay and working conditions we all deserve.

Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).