Communities in Schools preparing for loss in funding despite increase in clients


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – There are a great deal of changes coming to in-person education in the fall under the Texas Education Agency’s new COVID-19 guidelines. While the school format is changing, education-based nonprofits will have to adjust their methods as well. 

“I do expect it to affect our revenue streams,” said Communities in Schools Executive Director Paul Wallace.

Wallace says his nonprofit organization Communities in Schools was able to weather the storm this school year, helping over 1,200 at risk local students, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding funding for next school year.

“We’re planning to mirror what the governor has asked every state agency to do and that’s at least a 5% reduction in state funding and so that’s how we’re building our budget looking for the fall,” said Wallace.

According to Wallace, in spring after schools shut down the nonprofit saw an increase in student clients. The organization did what it could to provide its students and staff with the materials they needed.

“When it comes to families having electronics, and the students who didn’t have those things, we were able to connect them with resources in the community to be able to find the technology that they need to be able to complete their school work,” said Communities in Schools Programing Director Justin Whiteley.

Despite not being able to see her students in person, Wylie High School Student Success Coach Fabiola Vargas says it’s important to stay optimistic.

“If we keep a positive outlook for our students, then our students will be more successful,” said Vargas.

The organization focuses on more than just academics with their clients.

“Promote socioemotional learning aspects because not only was it really important to make sure their physical needs were met, but also kind of supporting their emotional wellbeing,” said Communities in Schools Program Coordinator Karla Carrasco.

Paul Wallace says Communities in Schools and organizations like it have the potential to have a huge influence on the communities they serve during the pandemic.

“Organizations like Communities in Schools are going to be super important and super valuable, not only to school systems and to students, but to communities as a whole,” said Wallace.

Communities in Schools currently serves students in Abilene, Wylie, Clyde, Merkel, Breckenridge, Snyder, and Ballinger ISDs.

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