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A 7-point plan to stop elimination of afterschool funding

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A 7-point plan to stop elimination of afterschool funding

On Monday, March 11, the administration called for eliminating all funding for afterschool and summer programs in the 2020 budget. The afterschool field didn’t miss a beat, springing into action to save the programs that 1.7 million kids and their families rely on. Thousands of afterschool advocates made the phones ring off the hook on Capitol Hill, while our champions let media know just how catastrophic this elimination would be for students, families, schools, and communities. Together, we made some serious noise.

In short, it’s been a busy week for the afterschool field! Here’s a quick look at how the week went, and what’s needed to make sure we beat this cut:

  1. Act fast: Within the hour Executive Director Jodi Grant sent a statement to press and Erik Peterson laid out the details of budget announcement: Trump administration proposes eliminating afterschool.
  2. Kick butt: The Terminator kicked into gear with a video post on Twitter condemning the cut. Asked Schwarzenegger, “Why give money to rich people and take it away from poor little kids?” Politico California later covered the story.
  3. Get loud: Advocates flooded Capitol Hill with 7,500+ calls and emails to Congress in the first 24 hours after the announcement; the drumbeat went on to reach more than 11,000 contacts to Congress for the week.
  4. And louder: Jodi Grant and Barry D. Ford, president and CEO of Council for Strong America, went on air with radio stations across the country to let communities know what’s at stake. We spoke with many, many news outlets, saw coverage in the Washington Post, Education Week, Grand Magazine, and Youth Today, and placed our own piece in Politico.
  5. But serious: Researchers refuted the idea afterschool doesn’t work, with the first in a series of research blogs from Corey Newhouse at Public Profit: A researcher's view: 21st CCLC programs "play an invaluable role."
  6. Call in the support of friends: We’re calling on all our friends to plan coordination around action alerts, social media, briefings, and Hill visits going forward. Thanks to the 50 state afterschool networks, America Scores, Americans for the Arts, After-School All-Stars, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Center for American Progress, Coalition for Community Schools, Communities In Schools, Food Research and Action Center, Girls Inc., Learning Policy Institute, National Parks and Recreation Association, National Summer Learning Association, Save the Children, Service Year Alliance, YMCA of the USA, and more. Your local, state, or national organization can get involved as well by signing on to a letter to Congress in support of 21st CCLC. 
  7. Keep it up: A rolling drumbeat of action and outreach is the only way to beat back afterschool elimination. We’ve got to repeat these steps over and over again until programs have the resources they need to keep kids safe, inspire them to grow and learn, and give parents peace of mind.

Has your voice been heard? Reach out to your members of Congress and tell them to reject this proposal to eliminate afterschool funding.