This library highlights examples of state laws, policies, initiatives, and programs aligned with whole child design. It is intended to help policymakers, educators, and other key stakeholders learn how states across the country are pursuing whole child policy and systems change. The library is not an exhaustive compilation of all the whole child work states have taken on and will be periodically updated with new examples as states continue to innovate and redesign to support every child’s learning and developmental needs. If you have a state policy example you would like to share, please submit it using this form.

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Displaying 151 - 179 of 179 examples

Building Adult Capacity and Expertise
Promote High-Quality Professional Development Linked to Growth-Oriented Evaluation Systems

In 2019, Pennsylvania Senate Bill (S.B.) 144 required school districts to provide training on trauma-informed approaches for school board directors, as well as requiring each public school to include at least 1 hour of trauma-informed professional development in its professional education plan. The legislation requires the Pennsylvania School Leadership Standards to include information on trauma-informed approaches for school leaders. S.B. 144 also adds trauma-informed approaches to the list of school safety training topics that schools must provide teachers and staff, and it adds trauma-informed approaches to the list of duties required by school safety and security coordinators.
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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The Tennessee Department of Education worked with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center to develop a series of eight modules to help teachers understand social and personal competencies and the teaching practices that can support them. The modules also help teachers to reflect on their own social and personal well-being.
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Virginia Senate Bill 619, enacted in 2020, requires school employees to complete mental health awareness training when they receive or renew their licenses. School boards are required to provide the training via certified providers in the state, such as the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services or a qualified nonprofit.
VA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2016, the Washington state legislature passed Senate Bill 6620, requiring the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop and maintain an online social and emotional learning (SEL) training module for educators, administrators, and other school staff. The SEL Online Module created by the OSPI provides seven learning segments to build awareness and knowledge of SEL and of how to implement and integrate it into different contexts in a culturally responsive way. (For more information about this state example, see Building Adult Capacity and Expertise.)
WA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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The Washington Professional Education Standards Board began providing micro-credential pilot grants in 2018. Up to 20 school districts, school providers, and institutes of higher education could receive the $18,000 grant to pilot competency-based micro-credentials for educator development. One of three areas for development includes content and job-embedded training on social and emotional learning (SEL). The program provides training and timely feedback on educator growth toward meeting the competency for SEL, and educators are evaluated by trained peers. (For more information about Washington's educator preparation standards, Building Adult Capacity and Expertise.)
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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For several years, Washington state has provided a 2-day ongoing professional development session for kindergarten teachers at the beginning of the school year related to the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS), the state’s kindergarten entry assessment. WaKIDS is linked to the state’s early learning guidelines preschool curriculum but has been modified to be more culturally responsive and include a parent engagement component. The assessments also include a Whole Child Assessment focusing on the social and emotional learning, as well as the physical, linguistic, and cognitive development, of kindergarten students. (For more information about this state example, see Redesigning Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Accountability Systems.)
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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The Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness System gives teachers latitude to develop personalized professional development plans to set goals and measure their progress over time through annual reporting on professional practice and school and student learning objectives. To achieve their goals, educators can work with peers, coaches, and other supervisors to improve learning-centered strategies that are aligned with state practice rubrics. (For more information about this state example, see Building Adult Expertise and Capacity.)
WI
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Adopt Adequate and Equitable School Funding Formulas

In 2013, California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which has shifted billions of funds to districts serving high-need students. The LCFF includes a base formula that provides equal dollars for each pupil by grade span, with additional weights provided for pupils with greater needs—those living in poverty, English learners, and youth living in foster care—as well as additional funding for districts serving high concentrations of these students. Districts have broad flexibility in how to spend these funds but must develop spending plans in partnership with parents, students, and staff that describe how funds will be used to achieve eight state priorities set forth in statute. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
CA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2020, Maryland passed House Bill 1300 to change its state funding formula and concentration-of-poverty grants. The changes will start to alter mandated education funding in 2022—providing increased per-pupil funding and targeted aid to meet the state’s education goals. The concentration-of-poverty grants provide for community school coordinators and increased per-pupil allocations based on need.
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Prompted by a court ruling in McDuffy v. Robertson finding the Massachusetts school finance system unconstitutional, a new school finance formula was adopted in 1993 as part of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act. This act stimulated substantially greater investments in higher-need schools through a weighted student funding formula that required a “foundation” level of spending for each district, which is met through a state-mandated local contribution and supplemental state aid, with added funding increments based on the proportions of students from low-income families and English learners in a district. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
MA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2017, Washington’s state legislature passed House Bill 2242. The bill aims to fully fund a basic education for all students in the state by reforming state and local education contributions. The main reforms include adjusting the state’s property taxes and certain property taxes approved by voters at the district level and targeting funding to low-income school districts. 
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Allocate Adequate Funding Across the Developmental Continuum

Each county in North Carolina has a Smart Start, a public–private partnership to assess community needs and coordinate early education services. To help with Smart Start implementation, the North Carolina Partnership for Children supports local partnerships, connects them to the statewide early childhood system, and develops policies for its programs and services.
NC
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 1998, Oklahoma began fully funding pre-k for all 4-year-olds across the state, without eligibility requirements. The state now funds preschool through its state funding formula and has one of the highest levels of enrollment in preschool or Head Start in the country. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
OK
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Washington state is home to a high-quality state-funded preschool program that serves more than 10,000 of the state’s most vulnerable children. Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) was modeled on Head Start and stands out for its extensive whole child services, including medical and dental services, and its focus on developing social, emotional, and academic skills. These services have been integral to the ECEAP since its inception in 1985. The state-funded program is relatively small and highly targeted, serving 3- and 4-year-old students whose families earn no more than 110% of the federal poverty level. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
WA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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West Virginia passed legislation in 2002 that promised universal pre-k access for all 4-year-olds starting in the 2012–13 school year. As a result, the state now offers universal access to high-quality, full-day preschool funded through a combination of state and federal funds. The state school aid funding formula determines the state allocation for West Virginia pre-k each year and has offered a relatively stable source of support for the program over time. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Blend and Braid Federal, State, and Local Resources

From 2009 to 2020, the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) expanded access to Head Start services by implementing the Head Start School-Wide Model, an innovative model that blends Head Start and local funding in order to ensure that more pre-k students and their families have access to comprehensive services. In addition, children who were eligible for Head Start and DC’s universal preschool were able to learn in the same classrooms. The DCPS system was able to accomplish this by working with its regional Head Start office to allow the district to offer a blended Head Start and district preschool program to all children in Title I schools. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Efficiently and Equitably.)
DC
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Stemming from the state’s stakeholder engagement process under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Georgia Department of Education has created a Whole Child Toolkit—an interactive website to help districts and schools understand federal programs, access guidance on taking a whole child approach to education, and implement a community school strategy. The toolkit serves as a one-stop location to support statewide efforts to ensure students are (1) healthy, (2) safe, (3) engaged, (4) supported, and (5) challenged. Under each of these categories, the toolkit links to subcategories covering a variety of topics requiring coordination across agencies, including mental health, nutrition, school climate, student safety, fine arts, social studies and civics, after-school programs, and early childhood. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Efficiently and Equitably.)
GA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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The Virginia Comprehensive Services Act (CSA) provides for high-quality, child-centered, family-focused, cost-effective, community-based services by pooling together eight specific funding streams to support services for high-risk youth. Administered by the Office of Children’s Services, the CSA provides for the coordination of supports for children and youth delivered by local social services, local community service boards, private providers, and through the CSA program. In the 2020 fiscal year, CSA served over 15,000 children and families in the 133 cities and counties in the state, with a combined state and local budget of over $435 million.
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Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Leverage and Align Federal Funds

Medi-Cal, the Medicaid health care program of California, helps students and families with limited incomes to pay for a variety of health- and mental health–related services. This federally funded state service has helped support schools in California by reimbursing services such as dental care, eye exams, counseling, and therapists. The state also has a billing option for districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, which reimburses them the federal share of the maximum allowable rate for approved health-related services provided by qualified health service practitioners. Under a 2019 state law, the California Departments of Education and Health Care Services formed a workgroup tasked with identifying the program requirements and support services needed to improve coordination and expansion of access to available federal funds. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
CA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Massachusetts named “supporting social and emotional learning, health, and safety” as one of its core strategies in its Every Student Succeeds Act state plan to promote social and emotional learning (SEL) by connecting statewide pre-k to 12 SEL programs. To support this strategy, the state has provided training, technical assistance, guidance, and resources to schools and districts to create positive school climates and safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students, using Title IV, Part A funds. To help make this happen, the state is also providing guidance on implementing pre-k SEL standards and k–12 SEL curricula. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
MA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2021, Montana passed House Bill (H.B.) 671, which requires the state’s Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to collaborate so that districts can be reimbursed for eligible mental health and other school-based services under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). When a school district pursues federal funding through Medicaid and CHIP, both state entities are tasked with providing technical support and facilitating federal reimbursements. The technical support aims to make the reimbursement process easier on districts by including explanations of eligible services, establishing provider service rates, providing accounting guidance, and coordinating with the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. In addition, H.B. 671 allows OPI, in coordination with DPHHS, to use Montana’s special revenue fund to receive necessary matching funds from school districts seeking reimbursement and fulfill financial requirements.
MT
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Invest in Community Schools and Integrated Student Supports

California’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is “a comprehensive framework that aligns academic, behavioral, and social-emotional learning in a fully integrated system of support for all students.” The framework provides a three-tiered continuum of these supports (universal, supplemental, and intensified) to ensure students with the greatest needs, often those who are historically underserved and marginalized, receive the most targeted interventions. In 2021, the state appropriated $50 million to scale up statewide implementation of the MTSS framework. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
CA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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For the last 3 decades, Kentucky has been building its state infrastructure to provide integrated supports to students and families. In 1990, the state passed the Education Reform Act, which paved the way for sustained funding for Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSCs). These centers are supported through Kentucky’s funding formula so that schools with at least 20% of students receiving free or reduced-price meals are eligible to apply. In 2017, FRYSCs received $51.5 million in funding. Currently 642,156 middle and high school students are served by FRYSCs. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
KY
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2019, Maryland started funding the majority of its community schools through the Concentration of Poverty School Grant Program, which provides grants to public schools in which at least 80% of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Each school receiving one of these grants must employ a community school coordinator and provide full-time coverage by at least one health care practitioner. The Maryland Association of Boards of Education estimates the state will provide $248,333 to 219 qualifying schools for a total of $54.6 million. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
MD
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2013, New Mexico adopted the Community Schools Act in response to growing support for community schools as a strategy to provide wraparound services and meet the additional needs of students in high-poverty communities. In 2019, this act was followed by additional legislative action, House Bill 589, which provided $2 million in grant funding for implementation. By September 2019, 119 schools representing 12% of New Mexico schools applied to the New Mexico Public Education Department for grants to establish new comprehensive community schools or to implement and strengthen existing community schools.
NM
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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New York state has developed a robust infrastructure to support the development and sustainability of community school initiatives. Between the 2016–17 and 2019–20 school years, New York has annually increased funding for community schools from $100 million to $250 million, which the state maintained in its enacted 2020–21 budget. The funding for community schools applies to 233 school districts that have been identified as high need. Additionally, the New York State Education Department established Community School Regional Technical Assistance Centers in 2018–19 to help school districts run community schools by providing resources and professional development on effective and promising practices. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
NY
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently
Close the Digital Divide

In April 2020, California established a task force overseeing the California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund, a joint effort of the California Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, and Department of Education. The funds raised go directly to equip school districts with the resources they need to enable distance learning. With contributions from corporations and foundations, the state supported district efforts by distributing more than 1 million devices and more than 100,000 hot spots for students. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
CA
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In August 2020, Ohio announced that it would set aside $50 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act funding to provide hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students. The Ohio Department of Education worked with BroadbandOhio, an office created before the onset of COVID-19 to increase access to high-speed internet, to administer the grant program. The office is a part of the Development Services Agency and serves as a resource for local governments and private industry to help achieve Ohio’s 2019 plan to expand internet access across the state. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
OH
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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In 2017, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act (TBAA) to provide internet and Wi-Fi access to underserved communities in the state. The TBAA has three components: (1) investment, (2) deregulation, and (3) education. So far, $45 million ($10 million in 2018, $15 million in 2019, and $20 million in 2020) has been allocated to the program, and $2 million has been provided to internet service providers to cover half of the costs of extending fiber lines to underserved or rural communities. (For more information about this state example, see Investing Resources Equitably and Efficiently.)
TN
Last Updated: May 20, 2022
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