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Letter to Senator Nelson in support of the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007

July 18, 2007

Dear Senator Nelson:


On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we would like to express our support for the Full-Service Community Schools Act of 2007. We believe this bill will not only help students succeed academically but will provide the foundation for success in life. 

NEA members reflect the breadth and depth of education services promoted in your legislation -- teachers, education support professionals, school counselors, school psychologists, school bus drivers, school nurses, custodians, and more.  Our members are on the front lines every day.  They look at a child and see more than a test score; they see a child's potential, strengths and weaknesses, creativity, emotional health, and much more. We have long advocated that education is and should be a community endeavor, designed to address the needs of the whole child. 
 
Your legislation: (1) brings parents and educators even closer together to help children achieve, (2) acknowledges the stresses of parenting in today's society, and (3) provides help to parents who may need to bolster their own skills. By allowing local consortia of school districts, non-profits, and other community-based organizations to partner in the development and delivery of a wide array of services for children and their parents, schools truly will become the centers of our communities. Your bill will allow our public schools to serve students and their families more fully by offering services such as early childhood development programs, parenting education initiatives, nutrition programs, health and dental care, mental health services, child care services, family literacy programs, and job training. In addition, the federal funding authorized in your bill will provide essential "seed" money to encourage more public-private partnerships benefiting all aspects of education for students and their families. 

Your bill demonstrates an appreciation for what schools and educators are to so many families -- the difference between a hopeful life and one full of daunting challenges. We endorse your legislation and thank you for your continued support of public education. We look forward to our continued work together.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy