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You are here: The policy road map to protecting afterschool funding

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You are here: The policy road map to protecting afterschool funding

With more than half the calendar year behind us and only two months left in the 2017 federal fiscal year, now is a great time to pause and reflect on the ongoing quest to protect and grow federal funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Much has happened since the March 16 release of the Trump administration’s skinny budget which proposed to eliminate federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) funding for almost 1.6 million students—yet there is still a long way to go.

Making progress

The administration’s FY2018 skinny budget released in mid-March, and the subsequent full budget proposal released in late-May, both proposed to eliminate $1.1 billion in Community Learning Centers funding that allows local afterschool and summer learning providers in all 50 states to offer quality enrichment and academic programming to 1.6 million students in grades K through 12. The Administration justified the proposed elimination of the program by pointing to data from a 12 year old report with flawed methodology that questioned the effectiveness of the program.

The response to the proposed elimination was swift:

  • Since March 1: We've made approximately 71,500 points of contact with Congress -- including calls, emails, and letters
  • March 2017: Multiple summaries of recent Community Learning Centers afterschool evaluations were published, showing widespread positive outcomes in classroom attendance, student behavior, grades and academics, and engagement.
  • Since April 6: At dozens of site visits around the country, members of Congress or their staff were able to meet students, parents, and program staff and see first-hand the impact of Community Learning Centers funded programs
  • April 10: Bipartisan Dear Colleague Letters circulate in Congress and gain signatures from more than 80 Representatives and more than 30 Senators. On the same day, an organizational support letter signed by 1,400 groups and a second support letter signed by 130 public health organizations are released.
  • June 6: During the Afterschool for All Challenge, advocates held more than 250 in-person meetings on Capitol Hill with policymakers.
  • June 28: Multiple briefings are held for Congressional staff, featuring program providers, local elected officials, students and more.

A tremendous thank you to all of the parents, advocates, friends of afterschool, national afterschool and summer learning providers, and supporters that joined together to reach out directly and through stakeholders to provide research and examples of the effectiveness of Community Learning Centers-funded programs. We’ve also seen a flood of media outreach in national and local press.

So... where do we go from here?

First, the good news: In the middle of the push to respond to the proposed budget elimination for FY2018, Congress had to finish their overdue work on the FY2017 (current) federal fiscal year spending package. Despite the strong possibility that Community Learning Centers funding would be slashed in the FY2017 Omnibus spending bill, it passed in early May with a $25 million increase in federal funding for afterschool and summer learning programs.

While that turnaround does not impact the FY2018 budget process, it does represent the overwhelming show of support for these effective funds and a true understanding on the part of Congressional Appropriators that Community Learning Centers funding benefits students, families, and communities. The increase was a vote of confidence in Community Learning Centers, but hard work remains to ensure full support for FY2018.

But as a reminder of the work left to do, in July the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to cut Community Learning Centers funding by $192 million, a level that could leave 192,000 students nationwide without programs. While the program was not eliminated in the House bill, a cut of this size would decimate the private and local support that federal funds leverage, and hurt hundreds of communities.

The Senate has yet to act on their FY2018 spending bill and are expected to do so in September. The final appropriations process is far from settled and could include a continuing resolution and omnibus spending bill or even a federal government shutdown.

While much uncertainty remains, we know we must continue reaching out to Congress and making the case that Community Learning Centers are an effective means of supporting student success.

What can you do next?

With Congress out for the August recess this month, now is a great time to education your elected officials on the power of afterschool. As an individual:

  • Send an email to your members of Congress, state, or local elected officials, urging them to supper afterschool
  • Attend a town hall and speak to the value of afterschool
  • Join us for a Day of Action on September 27
  • Find an event to attend for Lights On Afterschool, the only national rally for afterschool, on October 26

As a program director or staff:

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

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Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

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President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

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

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

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Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

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BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

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

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Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2020 signed into law

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

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Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

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BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

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

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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

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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

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

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Senate funding bills released with flat funding for afterschool

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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

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BY: Erik Peterson      09/04/20

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

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BY: Erik Peterson      09/03/20

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

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BY: Erik Peterson      08/19/20

Learning Recovery Act introduced in the House of Representatives

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BY: Erik Peterson      02/01/21

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

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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

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

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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

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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

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BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

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BY: Erik Peterson      12/23/20

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BY: Jillian Luchner      11/19/20

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BY: Erik Peterson      11/06/20

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BY: Erik Peterson      03/10/20

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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

Update: On May 8, the full House Appropriations Committee voted to approve the FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act by a party line vote of 30 to 23, sending the bill on to the House floor. The approved bill included several changes...

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

This Monday, July 27, Senate Republican leadership is expected to release their long-awaited CARES 2 legislative package to provide another round of federal COVID-19 recovery and relief funding and support. While an outline of the bill suggested it will include $15 billion for child care programs...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/24/20

How federal government funding is supporting child care in the states

Economic recovery cannot happen without child care, including quality, comprehensive care for school-age children of working parents. If the concern has not already impacted you directly, you may have become aware from the news stories which keep flooding in. “Will Child Care Be There...

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

Today, less than half of New York City public schools offer free city funded afterschool programs. City Councilman Ben Kallos, joined by parents and afterschool advocates, aims to change that. Last week, the New York City Council held a hearing to discuss bill 1100 introduced by Councilman...

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