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Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

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Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build agreement and support for both a sweeping trillion dollar FY 2021 omnibus spending bill as well as a coronavirus relief package – with the hope that both would pass together before the Friday deadline.

A bipartisan groups of senators who are working on a new COVID-19 relief bill released a detailed summary and legislative text on December 14. This compromise bill includes an extension of unemployment insurance and funding for schools, vaccine distribution, and small businesses, among other provisions. The bipartisan coalition was not able to reach an agreement on the two COVID-19 relief issues that have been the most contentious for Congress to solve: liability protections for businesses, schools, nonprofits, and other entities operating during the pandemic, as well as more funding for state and local governments. Instead, the bipartisan group of senators broke the package into two parts, a $748 billion bill bundling together education, child care, broadband access, small business support, and other less-controversial proposals; and a second more targeted bill that includes liability protections backed by Republicans and $160 billion in state and local aid sought by Democrats.

From an afterschool and summer learning program perspective, the first of the two new COVID-19 relief bills, known as the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, includes the following:

  • Education funds to be distributed in the same manner as the CARES Act, including:
    • $54 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (up from $13.5 billion in the CARES Act)
    • $7.5 billion for the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund (up from $3 billion in the CARES Act), including $2.5 billion for private schools
    • $20 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (up from $14.25 billion in the CARES Act)
    • The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allowable uses of funds are modified from those in the CARES Act, and include afterschool, stating that the funds can be used for, “Meeting the social and emotional needs of students and educators, including providing mental health services and trauma-informed supports, including using diagnostic assessments to identify students’ needs, supporting access to school-age child care, and services provided by afterschool programs and community learning centers.” This new language should help get more education funds to community learning center and hubs, as well as programs operating during virtual school days.
  • The flexibility language from the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act (S. 4868) is included in the new package. This language provides the flexibility to use 21st CCLC funds during the virtual school day in the 15 states that have not been granted 21st CCLC flexibility waivers from the Department of Education. Unfortunately the additional funding for 21st CCLC was not included in this package.
  • Second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds with an additional $300 billion provided to the Small Business Administration. Funding is targeted to hardest-hit nonprofits and small businesses to receive a second forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Eligibility criteria differs from that in the CARES Act.
  • For Child Care, the bill appropriates $10 billion for a new Child Care Stabilization Fund grant program at the Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants for child care providers, including school-age providers:
    • Grants would be available to child care providers that are currently open or temporarily closed due to COVID-19, regardless of whether they had previously received funding through the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program.
    • Providers could use stabilization grants for a variety of purposes, including personnel costs; sanitization and cleaning; personal protective equipment; fixed costs, including mortgage obligations, rent, utilities and insurance; and modifications to child care services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The proposed bill would provide $3 billion for an Emergency Educational Connectivity Fund to provide E-rate support for educational and distance learning providers. The funds can be used for hotspots, devices, and other connected devices. The bill also includes $6.25 billion for State Broadband Deployment and Connectivity grants to expand affordable access to broadband.
  • $200 million to Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to purchase and distribute Internet-connected devices to libraries in low-income and rural areas.
  • Provides increased funding for school and child care meal programs.

The second measure, the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020, would provide $160 billion for state, local, and tribal assistance. The bill would provide $152 billion through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established in the CARES Act, which would be distributed at governors’ discretion. Several states have put CARES Act CRF funds toward afterschool, school-age care, and other education initiatives. It would also extend the deadline to use funds to Dec. 31, 2021. Currently, those funds are set to expire at the end of this year. This second bill also provides limited liability protection to businesses, schools, and other institutions.

The current plan is for the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 (and possibly the Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020) to be attached to the FY 2021 Omnibus spending bill with votes on the entire package to be held in the House of Representatives the afternoon of Thursday, December 17, and votes in the Senate on Friday, December 18. It is also possible Congress will have to work into the weekend to complete these votes. Check back for updates this week, particularly after the legislative text of the FY 2021 spending bill is released.

State tackles learning loss with new law on summer & afterschool STEAM engagement

With the federal government working hard to get much needed relief funds to states, including for education to help stem some of the harshest effects of COVID, states as well recognize their essential role in recovery. On February 9, Tennessee passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/18/21

House Education Committee approves additional education, learning recovery support

This week, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the FY21 budget reconciliation bill, which enacts President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. After a mark-up that began...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/10/21

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

On Thursday, January 15, President-elect Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package called the American Rescue Plan which is described as “…the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan” to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

Federal afterschool policy update: Seizing the funding opportunities in the CRRSA

When the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act passed Congress and was signed into law in late December, the clock started ticking on a number of potential funding opportunities that can be used at the state and local level to support afterschool and summer...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/14/21

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/12/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

10 FAQs on the 21st CCLC "non-school hours" waiver

On Friday, September 18, the Department of Education put forth the waiver request form for the 21st Century Community Learn Center program to operate during non-school hours as a follow up to the earlier notice in the Federal Register. This allows states to begin the application process...

BY: Jillian Luchner      09/30/20

House Education Committee approves additional education, learning recovery support

This week, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the FY21 budget reconciliation bill, which enacts President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. After a mark-up that began...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/10/21

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

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BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

Federal afterschool policy update: Seizing the funding opportunities in the CRRSA

When the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act passed Congress and was signed into law in late December, the clock started ticking on a number of potential funding opportunities that can be used at the state and local level to support afterschool and summer...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/14/21

Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2020 signed into law

On December 31, 2020, S 2683, the Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2020 was signed into law. The bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this session by Sens. Burr (R-N.C.) and Van Hollen (D-Md.) establishes a task force to assist states in the process of implementing background check...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/04/21

President-elect Biden nominates Connecticut Education Commissioner Cardona for Sec. of Education

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BY: Erik Peterson      12/23/20

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

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BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Two new Community School bills introduced in Congress this fall

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/10/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/12/20

Two new Community School bills introduced in Congress this fall

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/10/20

Election 2020 – a first look at the results from an afterschool policy perspective

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BY: Erik Peterson      11/06/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

Federal Policy Update: Status of FY21 Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief

With October knocking on the door and the 2020 federal fiscal year winding down, legislative activity in Congress has heated up again. In particular it is a good time for an update on the appropriations process for federal fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) as well as an update on the status of a possible...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/29/20

Supporting our Youth throughout COVID-19 and Beyond: Hill Briefing recap

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BY: Bella DiMarco      09/25/20

Federal Policy Update: House passes 21st CCLC Coronavirus Relief Act

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BY: Erik Peterson      09/16/20

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

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BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/12/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

10 FAQs on the 21st CCLC "non-school hours" waiver

On Friday, September 18, the Department of Education put forth the waiver request form for the 21st Century Community Learn Center program to operate during non-school hours as a follow up to the earlier notice in the Federal Register. This allows states to begin the application process...

BY: Jillian Luchner      09/30/20

Federal Policy Update: Status of FY21 Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief

With October knocking on the door and the 2020 federal fiscal year winding down, legislative activity in Congress has heated up again. In particular it is a good time for an update on the appropriations process for federal fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) as well as an update on the status of a possible...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/29/20

Federal Policy Update: House passes 21st CCLC Coronavirus Relief Act

Just after noon on Sep. 16, the House of Representatives unanimously approved HR 8162, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. The legislation provides much needed flexibility for the current 2020-2021 school year, allowing local afterschool programs...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/16/20

21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in House

Today, in a move the afterschool community welcomes, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA) along with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Dwight Evans (D-PA), and Don Young (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/04/20

Department of Education to allow states greater flexibility through 21st CCLC waivers

This morning (Sept. 3, 2020) the U.S. Department of Education(ED) posted a notice in the Federal Register  on their intent to offer a waiver to allow State Education Agencies (SEAs) to waive the definition of Community Learning Center(s) for implementation of services during “non-school...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/03/20

Congress and the next COVID-19 relief bill – where do things stand?

As we move into the second half of August we wanted to give you an update on the status of Covid-19 relief legislation negotiations in Washington, DC. The hope was that by this time, with many school districts starting to return for the new school year, a new COVID-19 relief bill would have already...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/19/20

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....

BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and COVID-19 relief package finalized and passed

After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/22/20

Policy update: New bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill and FY 2021 spending bill gain momentum

This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/16/20

Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their twelve Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) spending bills. The government is currently being funded under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on Dec. 11. A spending deal must be reached by that date to avoid a government...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/12/20

Bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 introduced in Senate, would provide $1.2B in additional funding

On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/27/20

Federal Policy Update: Status of FY21 Appropriations and Coronavirus Relief

With October knocking on the door and the 2020 federal fiscal year winding down, legislative activity in Congress has heated up again. In particular it is a good time for an update on the appropriations process for federal fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) as well as an update on the status of a possible...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/29/20

Federal Policy Update: House passes 21st CCLC Coronavirus Relief Act

Just after noon on Sep. 16, the House of Representatives unanimously approved HR 8162, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. The legislation provides much needed flexibility for the current 2020-2021 school year, allowing local afterschool programs...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/16/20

Congress and the next COVID-19 relief bill – where do things stand?

As we move into the second half of August we wanted to give you an update on the status of Covid-19 relief legislation negotiations in Washington, DC. The hope was that by this time, with many school districts starting to return for the new school year, a new COVID-19 relief bill would have already...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/19/20

New Senate bill tackles education and child care needs resulting from COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb along with unemployment claims, pressure has continued to build for the Senate to take up another COVID-19 relief and response bill.  Last week, the White House and the Secretary of Education mounted a public relations campaign calling for all...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/14/20

FY21 Appropriations process kicks off in the House

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BY: Erik Peterson      07/08/20

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

On Thursday, January 15, President-elect Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package called the American Rescue Plan which is described as “…the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan” to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

President-elect Biden nominates Connecticut Education Commissioner Cardona for Sec. of Education

This week U.S. President-elect Joe Biden selected Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona to serve as secretary of education. Commissioner Cardona is a former fourth-grade public school teacher who became the youngest principal in Connecticut and, later, an assistant superintendent of...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/23/20

First glance: What a Biden-Harris administration may mean for afterschool

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/19/20

Election 2020 – a first look at the results from an afterschool policy perspective

Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash As of the afternoon of November 6, there was yet to be a definitive result in the 2020 US election at the Presidential, Senate, or House levels. One clear conclusion, however, is that while there are deep divisions in the electorate and in the political system,...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/06/20

One week until the Virtual Afterschool for All Challenge: A policy and appropriations update

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BY: Erik Peterson      03/10/20

Primary season is here! Where do candidates stand on afterschool?

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BY: Erik Peterson      02/13/20

Trump administration proposes eliminating afterschool, again

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BY: Erik Peterson      02/10/20

FY2020 appropriations update: Afterschool funding increased!

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BY: Erik Peterson      12/17/19

Afterschool and the 2020 presidential candidates

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BY: Erik Peterson      07/26/19

House appropriators propose substantial increase to 21st CCLC afterschool funding

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BY: Erik Peterson      05/01/19

State tackles learning loss with new law on summer & afterschool STEAM engagement

With the federal government working hard to get much needed relief funds to states, including for education to help stem some of the harshest effects of COVID, states as well recognize their essential role in recovery. On February 9, Tennessee passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and...

BY: Jillian Luchner      02/18/21

Two new Community School bills introduced in Congress this fall

For community school adherents, school has always had a central function as a hub of integrated student supports. The COVID health emergency has not only impacted how, where, and when education is delivered but also reinforced the idea of schools as a conduit for children and families to other...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/10/20

New brief released: State re-opening plans reveal importance of partnerships with afterschool across a broad range of goals

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BY: Jillian Luchner      09/17/20

How states are using CARES Act funding to support afterschool & summer learning

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BY: Erik Peterson      07/24/20

How federal government funding is supporting child care in the states

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BY: Jillian Luchner      05/12/20

State flexibility supports 21st CCLC ability to adapt to COVID Emergency

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash. As governors, state agencies, and school districts across the U.S. grapple with school closure decisions, the afterschool programs that provide out-of-school time academic support and the child care working parents need are also finding their...

BY: Jillian Luchner      03/24/20

New York City Council considers move to universal afterschool

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BY: Chandler Hall      01/30/20

Vermont’s governor calls for universal access to afterschool programs

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BY: Erik Peterson      01/28/20

Afterschool policy 2019: State legislative round up

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BY: Jillian Luchner      12/03/19

Fireman costumes to full-on careers: October is a big month to talk career and technical education

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BY: Jillian Luchner      09/30/19