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FEB
12
2018

POLICY
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Administration slashes federal afterschool funding

By Erik Peterson

Today the Trump administration released their fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1, 2018 (FY19).

Echoing the FY18 budget proposal released last year, the administration again proposes the elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, which funds local afterschool and summer learning programs in all 50 states. Elimination of these funds for local programs would devastate the 1.7 million children and families who stand to lose access to programs as a result.  

The budget proposal comes in stark contrast to the strong bipartisan support for afterschool displayed in Congress. Just in 2015, the Community Learning Centers initiative was reauthorized in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In 2017, bipartisan support in Congress in the FY17 omnibus spending bill lincreased funding by an included a $25 million increase to Community Learning Centers funding to meet the large need for these programs from working parents, students and communities across the country.

The research is clear: Afterschool works

The budget proposal attempts to justify the proposed elimination of Community Learning Centers by claiming that a lack of evidence exists that links the program to increased student achievement. In fact, more than a decade of data and evaluations provide compelling evidence that Community Learning Center afterschool programs yield positive outcomes for participating children in academics, behavior, school day attendance, and more. Last fall yet another study was released by the nonpartisan Rand Corporation, concluding afterschool and summer learning programs provide measurable benefits to youth and families on outcomes directly related to program content and demonstrably improve academic outcomes. While the effectiveness of Community Learnign Centers funding is clear, the impact of program elimination is clearly devastating, with thousands of students from pre-K to 12th grade in all 50 states at risk of losing access to programming. 

FEB
9
2018

POLICY
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What the bipartisan budget deal means for afterschool

By Erik Peterson

Around 2 a.m. this morning the Senate and then the House passed a bipartisan budget deal and continuing resolution that extends government funding to March 23, doubles the federal investment on child care, and also raises the spending caps for non-defense and defense spending for FY2018 and FY2019. The measure, signed into law today lays the groundwork for a FY2018 Omnibus spending bill that is able to make additional important investments in education programs like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. 

The bipartisan budget deal raises the debt limit until March 2019 and extends important health programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program CHIP). It includes disaster relief for areas impacted by hurricanes and fires last year including Puerto Rico.

The deal negotiated by Senate and House majority and minority leadership allows for a total of $131 billion in additional non-defense discretionary spending for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and $165 billion more for defense spending over the two fiscal years.  As a result, additional funding is expected to be available for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations, which includes federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) afterschool and summer learning program funding. 

Of the total two-year increase for non-defense discretionary spending, several programs were singled out to receive increases however the remaining increases will be determined by the Appropriations Committee over the coming weeks as they write the FY2018 Omnibus spending bill.  In particular the deal authorizes an increase of $5.8 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program over two years ($2.9 billion per year), doubling these funds. About a third of CCDBG funds support school-age children in afterschool and summer learning programs therefore this historic increase means more school-age students will be served while program quality will also improve. Click here to see a chart by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) showing how many additional children will be able to receive child care assistance in each state. The deal also includes:

  • $6 billion to fight opioid and mental health crises which could include funding for local prevention efforts.
  • $20 billion for infrastructure – the description does not mention schools at this time. However details have yet to be worked out and advocates are making the case for school construction funding.  

While Congress passed this new spending deal and fifth continuing resolution for FY2018 today, the Trump administration is still expected to release its budget proposal for FY2019 this coming Monday, February 12, 2018. Friends of afterschool are encouraged to weigh in with Congress on the importance of federal support for local afterschool and summer learning programs for both the FY2018 Omnibus bill and FY19 appropriations.

FEB
8
2018

IN THE FIELD
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STEM funding opp: Enter the 2018 Possibility Grants sweepstakes

By Charlotte Steinecke

Make your lab a little more fab: enter the Siemens 2018 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes! K-12 schools are eligible to enroll in the sweepstakes and vote daily for their school, from now until the deadline on April 27. Check out the possibilities with the #IDreamofSTEM hashtag.

Grant Name: 2018 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes

Description: $10,000 to spend on STEM technology and resources.

Eligibility requirements: All K-12 schools are eligible to apply. Educators can enter daily. The winner will be chosen through random drawing.

Deadline: 5 p.m. ET on April 27, 2018.

How to apply: You can enter daily for a chance to win – simply enter your school information here, and you’ll be able to vote for your school as often as you’d like! Previous winners are not eligible to enter. See the official rules here.

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learn more about: Funding Opportunity STEM
FEB
7
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: February 7, 2018

By Luci Manning

CareFlight Lands at Johnson Elementary School for BOYS2MEN Program (Montrose Daily Press, Colorado)

More than 40 boys at Johnson Elementary School were thrilled to get a visit from a medical helicopter last week as part of the BOYS2MEN afterschool program. Community figures like firefighters, paramedics and police officers have been visiting the school to give students positive role models and show them the different ways they can serve their community as they grow up. “Everybody has a role to play in their community,” third-grade teacher Andrew Steck told the Montrose Daily Press. “For some of these kids, it’s their opportunity to think, ‘This is something I can explore when I get older.’”

Plotting Course to Future (Redlands Daily Facts, California)

A Redlands couple is working to make sure students from underrepresented backgrounds have greater access to higher education through the Rochford Scholar College Access Program. Tim and Carol Rochford worked with officials at the University of Redlands to craft the program, which will provide 20 students a year with college and career readiness training, tutoring, college tours and more, along with a $30,000 scholarship for students admitted to the university. “We know that this program is designed for kids who have the potential but (may) not otherwise express that potential,” University of Redlands’ School of Education Dean Andrew Wall told the Redlands Daily Facts. “We’re trying to grab hold of students and parents to give them the knowledge that will help guide them to college.”

Little Luxuries: New Clubs Mentor Girls, Young Women (Telegraph Herald, Iowa)

A hair salon owner and single mother of two has created a club to help mold young girls of color into confident, passionate individuals. The Little Luxuries Girls Club, sponsored by Dubuque’s Multicultural Family Center, gives students opportunities to work on community service projects, provides guest speakers and exposes the girls to arts and culture by bringing them to plays and other events. “It’s really helped these girls come out of their shells,” program creator Shamika Rainer told the Telegraph Herald. “It allows them to share and be more confident and comfortable with whoever they are … and to see that we all have something to contribute to society.”

Bigs with Badges: New Mentoring Program Pairs Kids with Safety Officers (Evening News and Tribune, Indiana)

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kentuckiana recently launched a program meant to connect young students with mentors in law enforcement to build trust between the two communities and give youths positive role models to look up to. Fifteen firefighters from the Jeffersonville Fire Department have already committed.  “We have so many kids in our community [who] could really benefit from somebody who could just kind of walk that journey of life with them,” Southern Indiana Mentoring Partnership member Jerry Finn told the Evening News and Tribune. “We would love it if every child in our school system had somebody they could turn to if they had questions or need some support or just need a friend or help with homework.”

FEB
7
2018

POLICY
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New spending deal and CR within reach, child care funding could double

By Erik Peterson

Update: Feb. 9, 7 a.m.: After a brief shutdown around midnight last night, the Senate and the House both passed the bipartisan budget deal and fifth continuing resolution. The government now remains funded at FY2017 levels through March 23, and new higher spending caps for defense and non defense will be incorporated into a new FY2018 omnibus spending bill expected to be voted on in the coming weeks. 

With yet another federal funding deadline quickly approaching as the clock ticks down till midnight on February 8, Congress appears to have made significant progress in finally reaching a two year budget deal that extends FY2018 federal spending under a fifth continuing resolution and raises the non-defense and defense spending caps. While quick passage in the Senate looks likely, it remains uncertain whether the votes are there to pass the deal in the House of Representatives. The deal would extend funding through March 23, 2018, at current FY2017 levels for the most part, allowing appropriators to incorporate the new higher spending caps into a FY2018 Omnibus spending bill that would be voted on next month.  

This afternoon the Senate released the details of their new bipartisan budget deal that allows for a total of $131 billion in additional non-defense discretionary spending for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 and $165 billion more for defense spending over the two fiscal years.  As a result, additional funding is expected to be available for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations, which includes federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) afterschool and summer learning program funding. 

The deal also provides emergency funding outside the spending caps for both defense and NDD, including $28 billion for the Community Development Block Grant and $23.5 billion for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Funds, among other items. The deal includes health care extenders and a two-year reauthorization for Community Health Centers.    

FEB
6
2018

CHALLENGE
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Get ready for We Love Afterschool 2018!

By Charlotte Steinecke

Mark your calendars — February 14 is We Love Afterschool! Starting now, we’re celebrating the millions of reasons to love America’s afterschool programs, and we want to see why you and your students love afterschool!

Joining in can make for an easy and fun activity for your program in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. We've prepared a printable for participants to decorate with the reasons they love afterschool, plus some customizable social media samples to share your story.

Taking part is simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Download the toolkit.
  2. Make copies of the included We Love Afterschool sign.
  3. Ask students (and parents!) to fill them out.
  4. Snap photos of the finished product and share them on social media with the hashtags #AfterschoolWorks and #IHeartAfterschool! (You'll also find ready-to-use graphics, a Facebook frame, and .gifs to share on social media!)

Ready to get started? Download the toolkit now.

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learn more about: Afterschool Voices Events
FEB
5
2018

IN THE FIELD
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Free eBook available: The Afterschool Guide to Building English Language Leaners' Literacy

By Guest Blogger

By Heidi Ham, vice president of programs and strategy at National AfterSchool Association.

For the more than 4 million English language learner (ELL) students who attend public schools nationwide, it’s more critical than ever to literacy skill development support both in and out of school.

That’s why the National AfterSchool Association (NAA), in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance, created “The Afterschool Guide to Building English Language Leaners’ Literacy,” a free eBook filled with valuable information and field-sourced tools and strategies specifically designed for the afterschool environment. Click here to join NAA (for free) and then visit the "Program Resources" tab on the right column.

Afterschool and informal learning programs are ideal opportunities for ELL youth to develop their literacy skills in fun, supportive environments. With strategies ranging from student-run newspapers to initiatives that connect kids with their communities and bring families into the program, the range of education possibilities is limitless!

NAA is proud to offer the Guide to its members. For membership information and to download the eBook visit naaweb.org/membership.

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learn more about: Literacy Partnerships
FEB
2
2018

IN THE FIELD
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"Afterschool is essential for millions of students nationwide each year"

By Guest Blogger

By Ruben Balderas.

Ruben is a senior at Walla Walla High School and was named a Youth Afterschool Ambassador in the fall for the 2017-2018 school year.  Ruben has attended 21st Century Community Learning Center funded programs as a student participant for the past seven years, and recently secured a job as a Walla Walla Public School’s afterschool tutor.  Throughout his afterschool journey, Ruben has acquired a number of real-world skills, and has made many friends and professional contacts along the way.

Afterschool is very important to me for many different reasons. It has taught me many different things, including computer programs, videography and cinematography skills, communicating with other people. My afterschool program has also helped me develop different strategies around critical thinking, problem solving, analyzing, planning, brainstorming, time and stress management, and leadership. All of these skills learned in afterschool can also be used in a real-world work environment; for me, that would be something in the field of animation or concept art. In both of these fields, it is essential to be able to work and communicate within a team structure in order to produce the best content for the job.

I also use my afterschool skills to help me communicate with my family and friends. Afterschool has taught me to get out of my comfort zone and make new friends; in my program, I have made two really good friends that I am very grateful for meeting and having them be a part of my life. More than just skills related to direct means of communication, I appreciate afterschool for helping me explore other platforms to deliver a message.

Over the past few months, I have created content that not a lot of students can say they’ve done. During my first few months of my term as an ambassador, I helped make a Virtual Reality (VR) environment for our Lights On Afterschool event. In this VR space, you can move around and see all the different afterschool programs we offer from anywhere in the world. Check out the space here. Additionally, I made an introduction video about myself and what my message will be throughout my ambassador term.

Seizing on the excitement and messaging opportunities available to a Youth Afterschool Ambassador, I recently took a trip to Olympia, Wash., our state capital. While I was only there for a short time, the impact was large. I was fortunate enough to share my various afterschool experiences with the Washington State House Committee on Education. I shared with them that Afterschool has taught me essential new skills and changed me positively as a person. The experience was incredible — you can watch my testimony at 13:20-15:37 and 22:53-29:00 on this recording.

During the remainder of my Youth Afterschool Ambassador term, I am going to create a video that features a series of interviews from participants and parents highlighting how afterschool has benefited them, their families, and their community. Just like it has been for me, afterschool is essential for millions of students nationwide each year. I am honored and excited to continue to spread that important message to all who will listen.

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learn more about: Afterschool Ambassadors Older Youth