Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2018 spending bill, still under attack for 2019

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Afterschool funding preserved in proposed FY2018 spending bill, still under attack for 2019

 

Update 2, March 23, 8 a.m.: After The House approved the $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending package on Thursday in a 256-167 vote, the Senate passed it just after midnight Friday in a 65-32 vote that averted a government shutdown. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature later today.

Update, March 22, 2 p.m.: This afternoon the House of Representatives quickly passed the Omnibus package of 12 appropriations bills funding all government operations through the end of fiscal year 2018, which is six months away on September 30. The bill passed the House easily, by a vote of 256-167. It now goes to the Senate, where the process could be much slower.

After weeks of discussions culminating in a final week of further negotiations, the House released a $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending bill late on March 21, 2018, which will fund the government through September 30, 2018. Votes on the measure are expected this week as early as Thursday afternoon, as failure to pass a spending bill by midnight Friday, March 23 would lead to a government shutdown.

What's in the bill?

Congress funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers $20 million above the FY2017 level, increasing available funding to $1.21 billion—a win for children, families and the country. The proposed increase means doors to quality local afterschool and summer learning programs will stay open for 1.6 million students and families. Additionally, it will make programs available for 20,000 of the 19.4 million students currently waiting for access.

This funding level increase is especially noteworthy following President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the program in both the FY2018 and FY2019 budget proposals, which drove friends of afterschool to reach out to Congress with more than 103,000 calls and emails since January 2017, energized supporters to turn out at town halls in their communities, and prompted more than 600 local, state, and national organizations to sign a letter in support of Community Learning Centers sent to Congress last week. Champions of the program on Capitol Hill showed strong support for Community Learning Centers as well, with 111 members of the House coming together across party lines and signing a letter in support of the program earlier this week. A huge thank-you to all who worked so hard in support of Community Learning Center funds.

Other funding streams that can be used to support afterschool and summer learning programs were largely supported in the proposed omnibus:

  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $2.37 billion increase up to about $5.3 billion. About 45 percent of children served through CCDBG are provided with school-age afterschool care. This funding builds on the consistent funding increases in recent years to help states implement quality improvement reforms in the CCDBG Act of 2014 and will dramatically improve access to quality care for many families.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): AmeriCorps State and National Grants were funded at $412.010 million, an increase of $25 million. VISTA was funded at last year’s level of $92.364 million. AmeriCorps and VISTA positons are often  used in support of afterschool programs.
  • Full Service Community Schools: $17.5 million, a $7.5 million increase over last year’s funding. FSCS grants support community schools and often leverage afterschool and summer learning supports.
  • Title I of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): $15.76 billion, a $300 million increase above FY2016. Title I funds can be used to support school district-provided afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Title II of ESSA: $2.056 billion, level with last year, had been proposed for elimination by President and in the House spending bill. Funds support effective instruction state grants, teacher/educator training and professional development.
  • Title IV Part A of ESSA, Student Support Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.1 billion which is a $700 million increase over fiscal year 2017, to make these flexible resources available to States, which can include assisting in protecting students and educators.  Afterschool STEM is an allowable use of the grants, as are physical education, community school coordinators, and a wide range of mental health supports and education technology.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): The legislation funds NSF at $7.8 billion–$300 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. NSF targets funding to programs that foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education. The Education and Human Resources division was funded at $902 million including $62.5 million for advancing informal STEM learning. 
  • Youth Mentoring Initiative: $94 million increased by $14 million from FY2017. These grants funds support mentoring initiatives for young people in and out of school. 
  • Perkins/Career Technical Education: Funded at $1.193 billion, an increase of $75 million, to support older youth career and workforce readiness education.  
  • CDC School Health: Funded at $15.4 million, funds used to support staff professional development and training for obesity prevention and health in both school and out-of-school time.
  • Opioid Abuse Treatment and Reduction: $1 billion in new funding for grants to States and Indian tribes to address the opioid epidemic. $476 million (+$350 million) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support increased opioid overdose surveillance and prevention activities at the national, state, and local level. At least $500 million in research on opioid addiction supported by the National Institutes of Health. $130 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response program, aimed to reach hard-hit rural America and target the unique issues associated with substance use disorder in rural areas.?
  • Child Protection Improvement Act: Establishes a voluntary national criminal history background check system and criminal history review program for organizations that serve children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities, including afterschool programs.

What comes next?

The bill could come to the House floor for a vote as early as Thursday, March 22. The Senate would follow with votes in anticipation of passing the fiscal year 2018 spending bill before the continuing resolution expires this Friday at midnight, March 23.

With both the House and Senate expected to vote on the omnibus spending bill this week, friends of afterschool can reach out to their senators and representatives to weigh in on the importance of the bill.

Though Community Learning Centers see increased funding in this year’s bill, our field must not stop speaking out. Earlier this week Education Secretary DeVos defended the president’s FY2019 proposal to eliminate afterschool funding erroneously claiming there was no evidence to support afterschool and summer learning. We need afterschool supporters to make your voices heard as Congress moves ahead with the FY2019 appropriations process, the second year of President Trump wanting to eliminate funding for afterschool and summer learning altogether. With your help, we will continue seeing wins like the one we are celebrating today for America’s kids and families.

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