Rabb introduces legislation establishing Freedom School Grant Program

HARRISBURG, June 11 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., recently introduced legislation (H.B. 2405) that would establish the Freedom School Grant Program.

The Freedom School Grant Program would provide grants to schools and other organizations to help them establish more Freedom Schools, which were created in the 1960s by the nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund to provide well-rounded educational opportunities to Black children who were not given such opportunities in Mississippi public schools, Rabb said.

“These schools improve reading, language skills and interpersonal relationships; strengthen families; connect children to medical and other needed social services; and develop the skills needed to improve conditions for children and families in their communities,” Rabb said. “They are an exceptional tool for building success and equity and for bridging the gaps in educational opportunity.”

Today, 24 states have faith-based organizations, schools and school districts, community-based organizations and nonprofits, colleges and universities, and juvenile detention facilities that offer Freedom Schools. However, Pennsylvania has only one Freedom School, which is why legislation is needed to expand and enrich the breadth of learning so valuable to students across the state, Rabb said.