Obama Administration Links CBOs, Struggling Schools

(This post was written by Travis Hicks, one of Thompson’s federal education policy editors, and originally appeared on Title I-Derland, Thompson’s blog on federal K-12 policy.) The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partners, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Corporation for Community and National Service, has launched a pilot project intended to foster collaboration between community-based organizations (CBOs) and low-performing schools.

In local pilot sites, community partners will work with school officials to connect available community assistance programs to a particular school’s needs in areas such as attendance, behavior, academic achievement and college readiness. In addition, full-time members of AmeriCorps VISTA, a national service group, will work with schools and partners to build capacity, manage volunteers and facilitate relationships with CBOs, both secular and faith-based groups.

Orlando, Fla., is a first-round pilot location, with the planning processes underway for potential future efforts in New Orleans, Denver and Memphis, according to Michael Robbins, ED’s senior advisor for nonprofit partnerships. The Obama administration also is in conversations with local leaders in Michigan, Minnesota and New Mexico, Robbins said at a recent conference in Washington, D.C.

For more information, Robbins can be reached via e-mail at Michael.Robbins@ed.gov.

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