Funding Problems for After-School Programs

by Jeff Camp | April 21, 2016 | 0 Comments
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After-School Matters

A survey by the Partnership for Children & Youth deserves attention. It finds that lack of funding may cause poor children to lose quality after-school programs.

This is a big deal.

After-school programs are not only a critical resource for working parents, they are an important strategy for closing the achievement gap and keeping our children safe in the afternoon.

Background

California’s After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) supports over 4,000 elementary and middle schools offering after-school and summer programs to more than 400,000 students daily. These programs operate at high poverty schools -- those with an average of over 80% of students participating in the free and reduced-price meals program.

Research -- a good thing -- shows that after-school programs make a difference. They improve school attendance, English fluency, academic success, crime prevention, health and nutrition, and social-emotional skill development.

Here is the Problem

While programs costs have increased, funding for ASES has remained the same for a decade. The survey found that 92% of ASES-funded respondents are hurt by this stagnant ASES funding.

  • 29% are very likely to close in the next 2 years without an increase to the ASES daily rate.
  • 35% are now serving fewer kids, a 46% increase from last year’s survey.
  • 64% have reduced staff hours, a 28% increase from last year’s survey.
  • More than 86% find it more difficult to attract and retain qualified staff (unable to offer competitive pay).

Legislative Proposals

Several bills pending in the legislature try to address this issue, including these:

  • Assembly Bill 2663 proposes to increase funding by $73 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year to raise the daily ASES funding formula from $7.50 to $8.50 per student.
  • Assembly Bill 1567 would waive fees and give priority access to state-funded afterschool programs for children who are homeless and those in the foster care system.

Find out more…

Ed100 Lesson 4.7 takes a closer look at after school programs. Changes in the structure of the American family and workforce have made after school hours critical for parents and school district leaders.

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