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

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

With the 2020 presidential election only 10 months away and primary voting now under way, it is a good time to check in once again on where the presidential candidates stand on afterschool and summer learning as an issue. As we discussed in our blog last fall, education and childcare has been a popular campaign topic for many candidates, from student loan forgiveness to increasing teacher pay, however several candidates have gone on the record in support of afterschool and summer learning programs as well.

While the nonpartisan Afterschool Alliance does not endorse candidates, we do track their proposals related to support for afterschool and summer learning programs and have summarized the positions of the candidates that have gone on the record in support of afterschool, community schools, summer learning, and wrap around supports for school age children.

As of February 2020, here is where the 2020 presidential candidates of both parties stand with regard to support for afterschool programs. Note the candidates that have not addressed afterschool programs are not included in this list:

Republicans

President Trump: While afterschool programs are not mentioned specifically in his campaign platform, the president’s budget has three times sought to eliminate funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal funding stream dedicated to afterschool and summer learning programs. On a personal level the president has supported local afterschool programs in New York City in the past.

Democrats

Joe Biden, the former vice president, has outlined a number of education proposals and specifically has addressed the need for afterschool programs, career and technical education, as well community schools with support services for children and families. During a candidate debate in January 2020 he stated: "Why don't we insist on there being early education? Preschool... Why don't we have afterschool programs, [which] have been cut so drastically around the country?" He has also spoken about his call to triple federal Title I funding for schools serving low-income students, noting that those funds will in part go to afterschool programs.  His campaign website all speaks to community schools: "When parents are working hard to make ends meet, it can be difficult if not impossible for them to navigate various family needs like after-school care, health and social services, and adult education courses..." Community schools work with families, students, teachers and community organizations to identify families’ unmet needs and then develop a plan to leverage community resources to address these needs in the school building, turning schools into community hubs. Biden will expand the federal investment in full service community schools, providing wraparound supports for an additional 300,000 students and their families.

Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, promotes both the need of career and technical education and his track record in this area on his campaign website. He does not mention afterschool programs and in 2012 and 2013 as mayor of New York City, his budget proposed cuts to city afterschool program funding. Ultimately the cuts were fought off by local afterschool advocates

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has spoken on the need for investment in education. His platform includes a proposal to fund the Serve America Act to increase service opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000 in the existing federal and AmeriCorps grantee organizations and through new Service Year Fellowships, targeting high school, community college, vocational, HBCUs and MSI students, and opportunity youth (out-of-school and work). In November of 2019 he released a child-care plan that calls for $700 billion in spending over the next decade on “affordable, universal, high-quality early learning” as well as “outside-of-school learning opportunities in K-12 education.” The campaign said that learning and care for lower-income families will be free through age 5, and “affordable for all families.” Buttigieg will also fund a “program to provide cost assistance to working and middle class families for afterschool care and summer programming, helping to combat the summer learning loss that disproportionately hurts low-income and minority youth.”

Amy Klobuchar, current U.S. senator from Minnesota, has announced as part of her campaign’s support for education and teachers, that as president she would find ways for states to invest in afterschool & community hubs for working families. “I have experienced this myself:  how easy it was when you have afterschool programming at the school. My daughter, up through middle school or high school, was almost always in one of those programs. I saw how they vary when they did art, when they did different things, and I’m just a big believer in these because not everyone’s work schedules fit the school schedule. So the first thing I would do would be to align the school schedules with the schedules of parents, which includes afterschool. I put forward these ‘progress partnerships’ which would allow a pot of money from the federal government to reward states who are doing the right thing, and I think that would be a big piece of afterschool. The second would be infrastructure for schools, which would include building out classrooms that would be more suitable for afterschool. That is a big part of my infrastructure plan, and I was the first candidate to put an infrastructure plan out there and that includes schools. It’s just all about having the will to do it, making sure the budget is there and then coming up with best examples of what’s working around the country and creative ways we can do this so it’s available. But to pretend it’s not happening and to just leave kids on their own to sit around the house is a very bad idea. I also look at that from back when I was a DA and a prosecutor. That was the scariest time actually. It wasn’t at night when they would start getting involved in bad things, it was after school. It was really important to work to get kids in school, to make sure they had a place to live that was solid, to make sure they could keep going to the same school, and then having adequate afterschool.”

Under her plan, states would find ways to help working families with after-school programs or community hubs. Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, was in Houston. She said it was gratifying “to hear that all the candidates seem to be talking about the things we’re talking about,” including the teacher shortage, students’ unmet needs, standardized testing and full funding of special-education programs.

Specht called Klobuchar’s ideas “quite comprehensive” and added, “I love the idea of meeting the needs of working families.”

Bernie Sanders, current U.S. senator from Vermont and past presidential candidate, outlined an extensive education campaign platform with multiple investments including investing $5 billion annually in afterschool and summer learning programs. "Disgracefully, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating $2 billion in funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, which would devastate some 1.7 million children and families. We should expand the number of programs in order to meet the need. For every child now in an after-school program, two more are waiting to get in."

Elizabeth Warren, current Senator from Massachusetts, released her new candidate education plan last October. The plan would invest an additional $100 billion over ten years in “Excellence Grants” to any public school. That’s the equivalent of $1 million for every public school in the country to invest in options that schools and districts identify to help their students. These funds can be used to develop state-of-the art labs, restore afterschool arts programs, implement school-based student mentoring programs, and more. Her plan also emphasizes Community Schools and would invest in developing sustainable community schools – with the goal of helping 25,000 public schools transition to the community school framework by 2030. Community schools center around wraparound services, family and community engagement, afterschool programs and expanded learning time, and collaborative leadership structures.

Stay tuned for updates from the campaign trail and review our election toolkit and candidate guide (being updated for the 2020 election).

New summer and afterschool meal flexibilities being rolled out by Department of Agriculture

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Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes support for afterschool and summer programs

Update: On June 24 the House passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act by a vote of 234 to 193 after the Senate passed the bill the preceding evening. The bill now goes to the President’s desk to be signed into law. In response to horrific episodes of gun violence ravaging our nation, a...

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$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

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BY: Jillian Luchner      06/16/22

Jodi Grant testifies at House hearing in support of afterschool programs

This morning, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st...

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BY: Erik Peterson      04/07/22

$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

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Jodi Grant testifies at House hearing in support of afterschool programs

This morning, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/26/22

American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

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BY: Erik Peterson      04/15/22

Biden administration releases FY 2023 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

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BY: Erik Peterson      03/28/22

Secretary of Education Cardona discusses his priorities, emphasizes student engagement

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House of Representatives passes Build Back Better Act

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$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

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BY: Erik Peterson      06/23/22

Child care support still a high priority for Congress

On Thursday, June 9, a group child care professionals, parents, advocates, and Democratic senators and representatives spoke in support of Sens. Murray and Kaine’s proposal to provide additional federal funding to support families, child care providers, and staff, within a greater...

BY: Jillian Luchner      06/16/22

Update on FY 2023 appropriations: hearings and letters and more as support broadens on Capitol Hill for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

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BY: Erik Peterson      05/09/22

House Education & Labor Committee passes Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reauthorization

On April 5, 2022, the House Education and Labor Committee marked up the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2022. The WIOA bill would reauthorize the WIOA Act of 2014, which seeks to connect more Americans with quality jobs and includes support and funding to help young people gain...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/22/22

Addressing policy challenges to summer meal access this year

During the past two years as COVID-19 impacted schools and work, afterschool and summer learning programs stepped up by helping to provide meals to children and families in need. Last spring 57 percent of programs were providing meals to families at sites or through delivery; and last summer 65...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/07/22

Afterschool programs supported through Congressional Community Project Funding

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BY: Erik Peterson      04/05/22

Biden administration releases FY 2023 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

Photo by Ana Lanza on Unsplash Today the Biden administration released its FY 2023 discretionary budget request, coming just weeks after Congress finished work on the much delayed FY 2022 spending bill. With regard to afterschool and summer learning support, the proposal asks for a $21 million...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/28/22

Congress increases funding for afterschool and summer learning programs

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BY: Jodi Grant      03/14/22

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Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

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$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

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Update on FY 2023 appropriations: hearings and letters and more as support broadens on Capitol Hill for 21st Century Community Learning Centers

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BY: Erik Peterson      05/09/22

Afterschool programs supported through Congressional Community Project Funding

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BY: Erik Peterson      04/05/22

Biden administration releases FY 2023 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

Photo by Ana Lanza on Unsplash Today the Biden administration released its FY 2023 discretionary budget request, coming just weeks after Congress finished work on the much delayed FY 2022 spending bill. With regard to afterschool and summer learning support, the proposal asks for a $21 million...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/28/22

Congress increases funding for afterschool and summer learning programs

UPDATE: The funding bill passed Congress March 11 and is expected to be signed into law March 15.  On March 10, 2022, Congress gave the country’s students, families, schools and communities a significant boost by including a $30 million increase for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/14/22

House, Senate to vote on FY 2022 omnibus spending bill, afterschool funding increased

Almost five and a half months after the 2022 fiscal year began, Congress appears ready to pass an FY 2022 spending bill. Lengthy negotiations between the administration, both parties, and both chambers has resulted in a 2,741-page, $1.5 trillion FY 2022 omnibus bill that would fund the federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/09/22

Governors across the country signal support for afterschool in state budget requests

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BY: Chris Neitzey      02/11/22

Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

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BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/21

ARP Webinar Series Recap: How to access ARP funds for afterschool and summer

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Roundup of afterschool in State Budgets Part 2

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For some, a summer of enrichment thanks to ARP dollars

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Jodi Grant testifies at House hearing in support of afterschool programs

This morning, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/26/22

American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

A little more than one year ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, providing billions in funding to support communities and youth impacted by the pandemic, and naming afterschool and summer learning programs as one strategy to invest in to support young people. So...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/15/22

Biden administration releases FY 2023 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

Photo by Ana Lanza on Unsplash Today the Biden administration released its FY 2023 discretionary budget request, coming just weeks after Congress finished work on the much delayed FY 2022 spending bill. With regard to afterschool and summer learning support, the proposal asks for a $21 million...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/28/22

President’s State of the Union calls for increased focus on student mental health

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BY: Erik Peterson      03/22/22

Governors across the country signal support for afterschool in state budget requests

With a new year comes new support for afterschool programs. After an infusion of federal relief funds over the last two year to support education, including afterschool in summer programs, governors in a number of states are taking the next step to dedicate state funds towards afterschool...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/11/22

Secretary of Education Cardona discusses his priorities, emphasizes student engagement

In late January, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona gave a major address at the Department of Education, laying out his vision for improving the American education system. He largely focused on continued recovery through the pandemic and the need for broader investments in education to...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/07/22

State child care stabilization grants open with many afterschool programs eligible

As the afterschool field continues to navigate the American Rescue Plan (ARP) opportunities for K-12 funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) at the state and local level, ARP also designated $24 billion in child care funding to states to help stabilize the...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/18/21

ARP ESSER state plans are in! More funds are hitting the ground at the state and local level

With the 2021-2022 school year in full-swing, the federal American Rescue Plan relief funds are making important impacts in states and communities. At this point, all 50 states have submitted their Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) plans. The Department of Education is...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/11/21

$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

Update (6/24): The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee approved the FY23 spending bill detailed below along a party line vote the evening of June 23. This week, the House of Representatives continues the FY 2023 appropriations process with multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/23/22

Jodi Grant testifies at House hearing in support of afterschool programs

This morning, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/26/22

Biden administration releases FY 2023 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

Photo by Ana Lanza on Unsplash Today the Biden administration released its FY 2023 discretionary budget request, coming just weeks after Congress finished work on the much delayed FY 2022 spending bill. With regard to afterschool and summer learning support, the proposal asks for a $21 million...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/28/22

Congress increases funding for afterschool and summer learning programs

UPDATE: The funding bill passed Congress March 11 and is expected to be signed into law March 15.  On March 10, 2022, Congress gave the country’s students, families, schools and communities a significant boost by including a $30 million increase for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century...

BY: Jodi Grant      03/14/22

House, Senate to vote on FY 2022 omnibus spending bill, afterschool funding increased

Almost five and a half months after the 2022 fiscal year began, Congress appears ready to pass an FY 2022 spending bill. Lengthy negotiations between the administration, both parties, and both chambers has resulted in a 2,741-page, $1.5 trillion FY 2022 omnibus bill that would fund the federal...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/09/22

Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

This week Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released the nine remaining fiscal year FY 2022 appropriations bills that the Senate has not yet addressed, including the FY 2022 Labor-HHS-Education bill.  The bills are partisan in nature, and the Committee is unlikely...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/21/21

Appropriations, budget resolutions, and infrastructure—oh my!

Historically the month of August is a slow one in Washington, D.C., with Congress taking off for a summer break. While the House and Senate are now in a recess for a several weeks, that break did not come before a frenzy of legislative work that is worthy of a recap. In late July, before...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/16/21

U.S. House Subcommittee proposes $100 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

This week the House of Representatives continues the FY 2022 appropriations process with multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On July 12 the House of Representatives’ Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its FY 2022...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/12/21

Biden administration releases full FY 2022 budget proposal, increases afterschool funding

On May 28, the Biden administration released its full FY 2022 discretionary budget request, about six weeks after releasing an initial budget blueprint. With regard to education, the proposal includes $1.31 billion for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers, an increase of $52...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/28/21

President Biden offers FY 2022 budget proposal

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BY: Erik Peterson      04/13/21

Congress works to address summer and school meal challenges before end of month deadline

Update (6/24): After the Senate passed an amended version of the Keep Kids Fed Act (removing the provision that would have allowed reduced price meals to be free next school year), on June 24 the House followed the Senate and passed the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act sending it to the...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/23/22

$120 million increase proposed for 21st CCLC as U.S. House Subcommittee continues FY2023 Appropriations process

Update (6/24): The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee approved the FY23 spending bill detailed below along a party line vote the evening of June 23. This week, the House of Representatives continues the FY 2023 appropriations process with multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/23/22

American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

A little more than one year ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, providing billions in funding to support communities and youth impacted by the pandemic, and naming afterschool and summer learning programs as one strategy to invest in to support young people. So...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/15/22

Afterschool programs supported through Congressional Community Project Funding

When President Biden signed the FY 2022 federal spending bill last month, it included community project funding (previously known as earmarks) for the first time in more than 10 years. Community Project Funding (CPF) allows members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/05/22

Governors across the country signal support for afterschool in state budget requests

With a new year comes new support for afterschool programs. After an infusion of federal relief funds over the last two year to support education, including afterschool in summer programs, governors in a number of states are taking the next step to dedicate state funds towards afterschool...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/11/22

Secretary of Education Cardona discusses his priorities, emphasizes student engagement

In late January, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona gave a major address at the Department of Education, laying out his vision for improving the American education system. He largely focused on continued recovery through the pandemic and the need for broader investments in education to...

BY: Erik Peterson      02/07/22

House of Representatives passes Build Back Better Act

On Friday, November 19, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act by a vote of 220-213. The legislation invests in programs that support human infrastructure and includes parts...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/22/21

State child care stabilization grants open with many afterschool programs eligible

As the afterschool field continues to navigate the American Rescue Plan (ARP) opportunities for K-12 funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) at the state and local level, ARP also designated $24 billion in child care funding to states to help stabilize the...

BY: Jillian Luchner      11/18/21

Senate Democrats LHHS bill proposes $50 million increase to 21st CCLC as FY2022 Appropriations process continues

This week Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released the nine remaining fiscal year FY 2022 appropriations bills that the Senate has not yet addressed, including the FY 2022 Labor-HHS-Education bill.  The bills are partisan in nature, and the Committee is unlikely...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/21/21

ARP Webinar Series Recap: How to access ARP funds for afterschool and summer

The Afterschool Alliance hosted a webinar series to help programs understand how billions of dollars provided by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) can be used to support afterschool and summer programs. While funds go directly to education and child care agencies, programs are specifically mentioned...

BY: Maria Rizo      07/26/21