Communities In Schools of Central Texas

Announces Transformative Investment to Support Student Success

(AUSTIN, TEXAS) Communities In Schools of Central Texas, an affiliate organization of the national organization working to ensure every student, regardless of race, zip code, or history of marginalization has what they need to succeed in school and beyond, has received a transformational gift of $7M from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott. CIS of Central Texas’ school-based staff works directly on 100 elementary, middle and high school campuses in Central Texas school districts which include: Austin ISD, Bastrop ISD, Elgin ISD, Hays CISD, Lockhart ISD, Manor ISD and San Marcos CISD.

The gift to the Central Texas organization is part of an unprecedented, unrestricted donation of $133.5 million to support the Communities In Schools National Office and 40 of the 110 affiliates across the CIS Network.

This contribution comes at a time when the global pandemic has created enormous challenges for students and families, including experiences of social isolation, economic crisis, stress, and trauma. Communities In Schools is committed to meeting this moment through sustainable systems of support for those who would otherwise be left behind.

Ms. Scott has said her giving takes “a data-driven approach to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital.”

Communities In Schools of Central Texas recently launched an ambitious 2021-2026 Strategic Plan that is focused on serving more students, ensuring that more students are on track to graduate, and to helping more students achieve post-secondary success.

“This gift will support our strategic plan initiatives and innovative programming in order to meet the needs of students and families, and to advance educational equity.” says Suki Steinhauser, CEO of CIS of Central Texas. “In the coming years, we will use this gift to serve more students, sustain existing commitments, and build sustainable systems of supports.”

For 37 years, CIS of Central Texas has demonstrated measurable success in student outcomes, including improved grades, behavior, and attendance. CIS believes that relationships are key to unlocking a student’s potential. School-based staff work inside schools in partnership with teachers and parents to help address the non-academic needs of students. CIS coordinates with schools and local service providers to meet the needs of students and families, as well as providing critical resources, like food, housing, healthcare, counseling, access to remote technology, and more so that students (and educators) can focus on academics. By identifying the points of challenge for students in their personal lives, CIS staff helps to empower students to move beyond the barriers they face in the school building and in the community.

An investment in the evidence-based CIS Model to help students overcome obstacles to learning is tremendous fuel for impact, infrastructure, and the dedicated people working inside schools. However, with the extraordinary need and continued work ahead, public and private partnerships will continue to be critical to meeting the needs of Central Texas students and families.

About Communities in Schools®

Communities In Schools of Central Texas ensures every student, regardless of race, zip code, or socioeconomic background, has what they need to realize their potential in school and beyond. Working directly inside 100 Central Texas schools in Austin, Bastrop, Elgin, Hays, Lockhart, Manor and San Marcos school districts, we connect students to caring adults and community resources that help them see, confront, and overcome the barriers that stand between them and a brighter future. Together, we build a powerful change movement committed to building an equitable path to education for future generations. Learn more at

 Media Contact: Debra Joiner, Sr. Director of Communications,

Press Release Date: February 3, 2022