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Public Schools Serve Important Needs

The National Education Association defines community schools as "public schools that provide services and support that fit each neighborhood’s needs, created and run by the people who know our children best — all working together.” 

Sadly, local schools are often battlegrounds over race, culture and class in America. The school choice movement undermines funding of public schools (often providing a windfall for the rich). When this results in efforts to close neighborhood schools, it is important to remember what local schools mean to their communities. 

Traditionally, neighborhood schools are where most children first learn to interact with their peers and communities. For many families, community schools are not only places for academic learning, but safe havens for their children through before and after-school programs. Additionally, local schools provide extracurricular and athletic activities, learning opportunities for family and community members, and health and wellness support. 

Although neighborhood schools may not always measure up academically, they meet a distinct need not measured by standardized tests. Top-quality neighborhood public schools are the basis of successful communities and a driving force for prosperity.

 - By Karen Adler


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