Shital Shah

American Federation of Teachers

Shital Shah is the Manager of Philanthropic Engagement at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). In her prior position at the AFT as an assistant director for educational issues, she focused on expanding community school initiatives and visited numerous community schools across the country.

In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Shital explains what community schools are and how they work, how they benefit school communities, students, families, and partners, and how schools interested in the community schools model can get started.

Learn more about community schools

Learn more about community schools from Shital's publications on the subject and the following resources:


Shital C. Shah serves as the Manager of Philanthropic Engagement in the Educational Issues Department of the American Federation of Teachers. In this role she develops and supports philanthropic partnerships on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), focusing on AFT’s four pillars: promoting children’s well-being, supporting powerful learning, building teacher capacity, and fostering school and community collaboration.   

In addition to this portfolio, she oversees AFT’s inter-departmental community school strategy, supporting field and national efforts.  She has spent the last ten years working in the field of community schools policy and practice.  Through her work with local and national partners, Shital provides support and training to state and local affiliates related to policy, advocacy and school and district implementation of approaches to the community school strategy and extended learning time, including implications for collective bargaining.  She currently sits on the National Coalition for Community Schools Steering Committee, where she advises on the Coalition’s strategic priorities.  

Previously, as the Manager of Policy & Partnerships with the Coalition for Community Schools, she was responsible for partnership development and management at the local and national levels; federal and state policy coordination; and helping develop federal policy recommendations and briefs.

Shital holds a Master's degree in Nonprofit Management and Social Policy from Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, in New York City. She obtained her BS in Environmental Studies and BA in Religion at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Her recent publications include:  

The Power of Community Schools,” Voices in Urban Education, 2015, No. 40.  

Successful and Sustainable Community Schools: The Union as an Essential Ingredient,” Spring 2017, American Federation of Teachers.