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FEB
19

POLICY
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Congressman Kildee announces bill to support afterschool programming

By Erik Peterson

At an event at Potter Elementary School in Flint, Mich. on Tuesday, Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) announced new legislation in Congress to invest in successful afterschool programs in cities across the U.S.  The bill, the Afterschool for America’s Children Act, leverages local and private support for afterschool and summer learning programs to provide a safe space for young people after school and help increase opportunities for children both in and out of the classroom.

Congressman Kildee’s legislation, the Afterschool for America’s Children Act, would:

  • Invest in successful 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs.
  • Increase flexibility for states to tailor their afterschool activities toward non-traditional programs such as STEM education, health, fitness, art and music.
  • Expand afterschool programming from simply preparing students for a standardized test to providing children with a safe and constructive environment.
  • Establish rigorous state-based reviews to improve the quality of afterschool programs and ensure that funding is maximizing a child’s education.

The announcement of the bill comes just a week after the House Education and the Workforce Committee voted to pass ESEA reauthorization bill H.R. 5 out of Committee, sending it to the House floor.  The partisan HR 5 would eliminate 21st CCLC.  Friends of afterschool can continue to reach out to Congress in support of afterschool and summer learning programs.

The announced bill is companion legislation to the bipartisan S. 308 introduced in the Senate last month by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).  Congressman Kildee is expected to introduce the bill next week when Congress is back in session.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy Legislation
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FEB
17

IN THE FIELD
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Join us for a social media storm: Call on Congress to protect afterschool

By Rachel Clark

Please join us tomorrow, February 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST for a Social Media Storm emphasizing the importance of afterschool programs. Since the launch of the #Invest3to6 campaign, advocates have reached out to dozens of policy makers in 19 states.  Tomorrow, the Senate Afterschool Caucus will host a briefing on Capitol Hill to inform congressional staff about the need for afterschool funding—help get #Invest3to6 trending to drive this point home and make sure every Member of Congress knows that afterschool programs—and 21st CCLC in particular—are essential. 

A few sample tweets are below—for more sample posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as Twitter handles to tag every Senator and Member of Congress, check out our social media guide.  Be sure to tag your representatives when you tweet tomorrow to make sure they see the message!

  • Juvenile crime peaks #afterschool—eliminating #21stCCLC leaves kids without safe places after 3. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/1veukEo
  • Demand for #afterschool programs is higher than ever: kids can't afford to be cut from #21stCCLC. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/16HWdOX
  • Every $1 invested in #afterschool through initiatives like #21stCCLC saves $9. #Invest3to6 http://bit.ly/1A6PnjF

Before the storm, take a moment to reach out to your representatives via email!  Our goal is to see afterschool advocates send 10,600 emails to Congress by March 10 on behalf of the 1.6 million kids whose programs are at risk if 21st CCLC isn't protected.  Help us meet this ambitious goal—take action now and drive the message home on social media at 2 p.m. EST tomorrow.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
13

IN THE FIELD
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Hundreds of afterschool advocates take action to protect 21st CCLC

By Rachel Clark

With 21st Century Community Learning Centers facing extinction, we're calling on afterschool advocates to take action—and you're coming through.  In just the last week, hundreds of tweets and more than a thousand emails have reached policy makers across the country.  With so much momentum, we've set an ambitious goal: to see the afterschool community send 10,600 emails to Congress on behalf of the 1.6 million kids at risk of losing their programs if 21st CCLC isn't protected.  We'll be updating this dashboard weekly to show the progress toward that goal—and which states are sending the most emails, for a little friendly competition.

It's also critical to raise awareness in our communities—and reach policy makers in as many ways as possible—so be sure to check out our social media guide, start tweeting and posting, and mark your calendar for our #Invest3to6 Social Media Storm on February 18 at 2 p.m. EST.

Every week, we'll highlight partners, organizations, and individuals who have gone above and beyond in support of 21st CCLC and afterschool programs.  Thank you to the New York State Afterschool Network and the National Summer Learning Association for your exceptional outreach this week!

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Advocacy Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
13

POLICY
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Bipartisan group of senators call on Senate HELP Chairman, Ranking Member to protect 21st CCLC

By Erik Peterson

This week a bipartisan group of fifteen senators wrote to Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray in support of keeping intact 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) funding that supports 1.6 million low-income children with afterschool and summer learning programs.  The letter comes in response to Chairman Alexander’s draft Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation which proposes to eliminate the effective 21st CCLC initiative.

The letter in support of 21st CCLC outlines the extensive evidence for providing federal support to afterschool and summer learning programs and was spearheaded by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and signed by the following Senators: 

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE)
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV)
  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

The letter follows one sent by more than 260 state, local and national organizations to the Senate HELP Committee earlier this month also calling on the committee to ensure 21st CCLC funds remain in place for afterschool and summer learning programs.  You can maximize the impact of the senators’ letter by emailing your Members of Congress today and urging them to support 21st CCLC—take action now!

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
12

STEM
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Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Act reintroduced in House

By Sophie Papavizas

Representatives Paul Tonko, Joe Kennedy, David McKinley, and Rodney Davis have reintroduced the Educating Tomorrow’s Engineers Act (H.R. 823), which seeks to amend several pieces of legislation to remove the barriers at the federal level for K-12 engineering education by amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Education Science Reform Act.

The legislation:

  • Ensures that engineering design skills are part of science standards in each state and authorizes the use of State Assessment Grants to integrate engineering into state science tests
  • Sets aside a portion of Title II funds for STEM professional development for STEM professional development through the Teacher and Principal Training and Recruitment Fund
  • Amends the Education Science Reform Act of 2002 to authorize the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to expand the scope of their research activities from sole math and science to include all STEM subjects with a focus on identifying best practices and promising innovations
  • Amends the Math and Science Partnership Program to include all STEM subjects encompassing engineering and computer science

For the afterschool community it is important to note that the bill also amends the section of Title 4 relating to 21st Century Community Learning Centers by expanding the current priorities of the program from “math and science” to STEM to allow the use of funds for afterschool programs in subjects such as engineering, technology and computer science instead of just mathematics and traditional science subjects like biology, chemistry and physics.  A similar change to include STEM is also included in the After School for America’s Children Act introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer last week.

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learn more about: Congress Federal Policy Science
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FEB
12

POLICY
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House Education Committee passes ESEA reauthorization, Rep. Barletta speaks out on value of 21st CCLC

By Erik Peterson

The House Education and the Workforce Committee under Chairman John Kline (R-MN) passed the Student Success Act (H.R. 5) on February 11th, continuing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization process. The legislation consolidates more than 65 programs, including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative (21st CCLC), the principal federal funding stream for afterschool, into a single grant program.

As pointed out by the Afterschool Alliance in a statement released earlier this week, such consolidation could be devastating for the 1.6 million young people served by 21st CCLC afterschool and summer learning programs across the nation. In fact, it is possible that the new grant structure would provide no resources whatsoever for students outside the school day. As a result, many children would be unsupervised, missing valuable learning opportunities that could help them succeed in school and in life, and without a host of other supports, including nutritious meals and opportunities for physical activity, STEM learning and access to mentors. 

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Budget Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
11

POLICY
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Upcoming Congressional briefing to focus on value of afterschool, 21st CCLC

By Erik Peterson

On February 18th, Capitol Hill will play host to a Senate Afterschool Caucus briefing for Congressional staff on the need for high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs.  Entitled “America After 3PM: Supporting Student Success Through Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs,” the briefing will cover recent America After 3PM data as well as experiences at the state and local level of how the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative plays a critical role in providing young people with educational and engaging experiences to help them succeed in school and in life. The briefing comes just weeks before the Senate HELP Committee is scheduled to mark up their draft ESEA reauthorization bill which proposes to eliminate 21st CCLC.

Speakers include:

  • Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance
  • Marsha Edwards, CEO of the Martha O’Bryan Center, Nashville , Tenn.
  • Deputy Secretary of Education John Fischer, Vermont Department of Education 

Those in the DC area are invited to attend the briefing which will occur on February 18, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, room SVC 200, Washington, D.C.  Please RSVP by email to Josh Westfall jwestfall@wpllc.net by February 16, 2015.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Events and Briefings Federal Funding Federal Policy
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FEB
10

POLICY
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House Education Committee set to mark up ESEA bill; more than 500 groups urge support for afterschool

By Erik Peterson

As the House Education and the Workforce Committee prepares to mark up HR 5 on February 11th, continuing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization process, a diverse coalition of 536 local, state and national organizations has sent a letter to the House Education Committee urging them to maintain the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative as a separate and specific federal funding stream for school and community partnerships to support students in grades Pre-K through 12 during the hours outside of the school day.  The groups, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and including 61 leading national organizations, wrote in support of quality afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs that provide 1.6 million young people annually with the academic, social and emotional learning opportunities they need to be successful in school and in life.

The letter seeks to preserve 21st CCLC even as HR 5 would consolidate 65 federal education programs, including 21st CCLC, creating instead a block grant that would consequently de-emphasize support for afterschool and summer learning programs. The letter sent this week, signed by positive youth development organizations, STEM groups, education organizations, physical activity and health associations, anti-hunger groups and more, is just one of many recent efforts in the past several weeks aimed at protecting dedicated 21st CCLC federal funding for afterschool and summer learning programs that serve as a platform to make a difference in the lives of children.  Among the other efforts undertaken by groups seeking to protect 21st CCLC:

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Congress ESEA Federal Funding Federal Policy
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