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Secretary of Education Cardona discusses his priorities, emphasizes student engagement

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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 ensure all students have the supports they need to succeed and thrive. Among the priorities discussed, the Secretary set a goal for increased access to out of school time activities for older youth. He also emphasized the importance of American Rescue Plan funds being used for effective strategies like “afterschool and summer programs to meet the needs of our students and the demands of our economy.”

The wide-ranging speech included strategies the Department, schools, and colleges and universities must take to help students, educators, and school communities – from preschool through postsecondary education – continue to recover from the pandemic and address inequities in the education system.

Regarding engaging older youth in out of school activities, the Secretary stated the following: “I’d like to see every high school student in America participate in at least one extracurricular activity in their school—whether that is being a part of an arts or theater program, athletics, or an afterschool club. All kids must be seen, all kids must be connected, and all kids must hear their names in school every day.”

There are currently close to 2 million high school students who are involved in programs afterschool and 4.6 million who would participate in a program if one were available to them. Programs that work with older youth help them stay on track for success, help equip young people with skills and competencies for life and work, provide an opportunity for them to find their passion, and prepare students for college and the future workforce.

The Secretary also went into detail on the funding available through the American Rescue Plan signed into law last March, and highlighted using the funds for successful strategies like providing afterschool and summer learning programs:

“Thanks to President Biden and Vice President Harris's leadership in passing the American Rescue Plan and providing $130 billion, schools have the resources to not only stay open, but invest in recovery. We moved with urgency and I am proud to say that 100% of the funds are now in the states’ hands for use to support our students, families, and educators. Across the country, cities and rural communities alike can use these unprecedented resources to invest today in strategies we know work to help our kids catch up and succeed. Strategies like targeted, intensive tutoring, or after school and summer programs to meet the needs of our students and the demands of our economy. Across our country, entire communities, including parents, educators and students themselves should be brainstorming together about how we can deploy these resources to help schools do this work.”

To help support use of ARP funds, in late January the Department, along with the National Comprehensive Center, released a new resource to help states share their progress deploying ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The ARP Partnership, Assistance, Transformation, and Heightened Support (PATHS) tool invites states to describe the strategies they are implementing that could serve as promising practices in ensuring that ARP ESSER funds are used appropriately and effectively, as intended by the law. The tool has six sections based on ARP ESSER state plan applications; under each section, states may indicate their implementation status, describe their progress, and outline promising practices or impact. 

The full address laid out key actions in four priority areas that will guide the Department's work over the coming months and years:

  • Support students through pandemic response and recovery. 
    • Engaging families as core partners to educators
    • Addressing missed instruction through intensive tutoring, afterschool and summer learning, and other evidence-based practices
    • Increasing access to social, emotional, and mental health supports for all students
    • Encouraging every student to participate in at least one extracurricular activity
  • Boldly address opportunity and achievement gaps.
    • Increasing funding for Title I schools and for IDEA in order to close gaps in access to educational opportunity
    • Providing every family the opportunity to start on a level playing field through free, universal pre-K and affordable high-quality child care
    • Investing in, recruiting, and supporting the professional development of a diverse educator workforce, including special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and bilingual educators so education jobs are ones that people from all backgrounds want to pursue
    • Challenging states and districts to fix broken systems that may perpetuate inequities in our schools
  • Make higher education more inclusive and affordable.
    • Providing targeted loan relief to student borrowers
    • Holding colleges and universities accountable for taking advantage of borrowers
    • Ensuring borrowers have loan payment options that reflect their economic circumstances
    • Making long term improvements to programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and creating a strong Gainful Employment Rule so career programs aren't leaving students with mountains of debt and without good job opportunities
  • Ensure pathways through higher education lead to successful careers.
    • Reimagining the connection between p-12, higher education, and workforce
    • Collaborating with the Department of Labor and Department of Commerce to invest in career preparation programs that meet the needs of today's economy
    • Prioritizing grant programs that allow students to return to higher education or pursue career and technical education programs at any point in their lives and careers
    • Investing in colleges and universities that serve underrepresented groups and increase access to and funding for programs like Pell Grants

The afterschool field looks forward to working with Department to support families and students through increased access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs that can help give young people the tools they need to succeed and thrive.

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

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently issued a news release announcing several new child nutrition program nationwide waivers and flexibilities under authority provided by the recently passed  Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022 to support child nutrition program operations in Summer...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/19/22

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

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...

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

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

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

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

As spring starts to shift to summer, the appropriations process in Congress is picking up steam. In a familiar cycle, the FY 2023 appropriations process kicked off with the president’s budget, followed by members of the Cabinet appearing before Congress to justify the requested budget -- all...

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

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

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

$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

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

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

Recapping impressive OST work in summer 2021—and looking ahead to summer 2022

As the winter air blows in, it’s the perfect time to warm up with thoughts of summer. In fact, many school districts and afterschool programs know that planning for summer begins in the fall. Fortunately, the hard work programs, partners, and schools undertook during summer 2021 provided...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/07/21

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

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

49 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico submitted ARP state plans, 37 approved (Part 4)

As summer officially turned to fall this month, almost all states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now submitted their proposed state plans for the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) Funds to the US Department of Education, and...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/01/21

What could the Build Back Better Act mean for afterschool and summer learning?

This week the House of Representatives finished work at the Committee level on the Build Back Better Act legislation that invests in programs that support human infrastructure and includes parts of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. The bill is progressing on...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/17/21

$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

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

As spring starts to shift to summer, the appropriations process in Congress is picking up steam. In a familiar cycle, the FY 2023 appropriations process kicked off with the president’s budget, followed by members of the Cabinet appearing before Congress to justify the requested budget -- all...

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

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

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

$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

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

As spring starts to shift to summer, the appropriations process in Congress is picking up steam. In a familiar cycle, the FY 2023 appropriations process kicked off with the president’s budget, followed by members of the Cabinet appearing before Congress to justify the requested budget -- all...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/09/22

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

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

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

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

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

Roundup of afterschool in State Budgets Part 2

With state legislative sessions wrapping up and state budgets now finalized, we bring you our second installment of the roundup of afterschool funding in state budgets. As highlighted in the previous post from June, this year brought a number of new investments in afterschool at the state level....

BY: Chris Neitzey      07/21/22

For some, a summer of enrichment thanks to ARP dollars

This summer, thanks to pandemic relief funding, some students are experiencing a summer full of exploration, connections with friends and mentors, and learning that is engaging and exciting. After the last couple years, it can be a game changer for youth who have faced isolation, loss, and...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/22

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

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

In his first State of the Union presented earlier this month, President Biden outlined a strategy to address the national mental health crisis that has come to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people have been particularly impacted as losses from COVID and disruptions in routines...

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

On April 9, the Biden administration released their preliminary (or “skinny”) FY 2022 discretionary budget request which includes topline appropriations levels for each agency as well as key spending priorities. With regard to education, the proposal includes historic funding requests...

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