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Approaches to supporting afterschool and summer in state plans for education relief spending (Part 2)

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Approaches to supporting afterschool and summer in state plans for education relief spending (Part 2)

An advantage of a country made of states, territories, and tribal lands is the amount of innovation across boundaries that can help us learn from one another. This blog is the second in a series on the state American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund state plans. State ESSER Plan submissions are currently posted and in the process of being approved by the US Department of Education. The ESSER funds require each state to set aside 1 percent of its total ESSER allocation for afterschool programs and another 1 percent for summer. The first blog of the series looked at trends across the state plans. 

Below, we look at specific examples of efforts mentioned by states in the afterschool and summer sections of their plans. These examples are not intended to be comprehensive. (Not every state is mentioned, and additional states beyond the highlighted states may be engaging in a similar effort.) Hopefully these snapshots provide areas for conversation across states, so that we continue to learn from one another as we support student’s social, emotional, and academic advancement. We will continue to share examples as these programs and policies continue to develop.

PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATION

Stakeholder Participation: Wyoming highlights that combining its afterschool and summer fund allows for deeper collaborations between LEAs, community based organizations and stakeholders. The state also will be designing programs to incorporate “youth voice, choice, and leadership opportunities with active and meaningful family engagement practices.”

Grants to Community-Based Partners: Georgia has combined the afterschool and summer funds into a new “Building Opportunities in Out of School Time’ (BOOST) grant competition. The competitive grant program will offer three-year grants renewed annually for community based providers operating comprehensive programs when school is not in session. The grants will be administered by the statewide afterschool network (GSAN) and involve training to build capacity and support quality improvements, as well as annual convening to share best practices and strategies. To  ensure grant accessibility among various program types, the grants will be offered in two competitions: one for organizations with statewide reach and impact and the other for community driven organizations.

Establishing School-Community Partnerships: Illinois will use a percentage of their funds to offer a specific grant to help establish or strengthen partnerships between school districts, community health providers, and community based organizations to meet the needs of the whole child.

ENSURING BROAD GRANT PARTICIPATION

Pathways for different types of providers: Kansas will offer funds to youth serving organizations with broad reach such as Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA, and 4-H for hands-on, project-based enrichment, and math and reading recovery. The state will also reserve funds for smaller youth-focused community based providers in high-need areas not reached by the larger providers.

Partnerships with Statewide Afterschool Networks to reach deep in the field: Washington has contracted with the statewide afterschool network, School’s Out Washington (SOWA) to serve as an intermediary in developing and administering summer grants to community organizations. SOWA will conduct broad outreach to the field to encourage applicants, provide TA to support programs in applying, and establish a community based review process.

COORDINATION WITH EXISTING PROGRAMS

Funding Qualified 21st CCLC Applicants: Kentucky will now be able to fund 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs that scored above the eligibility threshold for continuation grants, but had previously gone unfunded due to prior budget constraints. The state recognizes that 21st CCLC programs “are research based and provide an effective model for both combatting learning loss and also providing meaningful social-emotional support to students and families.”

Funding areas not reached by 21st CCLC: North Dakota will offer an afterschool grant opportunity for community based partners or school districts, focusing on the two-thirds of school districts in the state that currently do not receive any 21st CCLC funding.

Funding programs that complement 21st CCLC: Rhode Island will use the state’s 21st CCLC Theory of Action as a base for its new grant program, including the development of strong partnerships between LEAs and CBOs with defined roles and responsibilities, two-way communication, MOUs, and data sharing. The state recognizes the 21st CCLC evidence base in Rhode Island shows “multiple statistically significant and positive results” including in mathematics, ELA, school day absences, and school discipline measures. The state recognizes expanded learning opportunities as an equity strategy and specifically calls out the need to reach differently abled students, multilingual learners and students of color.

WELL ROUNDED SUPPORTS

Social and emotional learning: Connecticut is partnering with their statewide afterschool network to ensure all summer program staff have access to a minimum of professional development hours on social and emotional learning. The online training will be offered at no charge.

Enrichment: New Mexico set aside $3.8 million of its summer funds for districts and partner organizations to provide enrichment in one of five target areas including: STEM; outdoor education; arts/cultural programs; at-risk youth or teen oriented programs; and agricultural or CTE programs.

Mental Health and Counseling: New Hampshire established a summer fund of $500,000 to ensure all camp counselors age 14 and up would be trained in how to identify and respond to mental and behavioral health issues of campers. The state will also support on site counseling and referral services for students requiring higher tiered interventions.

Arts Integration: South Carolina will be partnering with the South Carolina Arts Commission to create innovative arts opportunities over the summer aligned to the state’s College and Career Ready Standards in Math and English Language Arts.

DATA, EVALUATION, AND CAPACITY

New Department Staff for OST: West Virginia employed a Coordinator for Extended Learning in its Office of Federal Programs and Support. The staff will provide technical assistance and quality implementation support while working alongside 21st CCLC staff.

Data and Data Sharing: Utah’s combined afterschool and summer grants will be complemented by SEA technical assistance to help empower LEAs and CBOs to work with school level and community needs data to target student support. Data may include attendance, benchmark assessments, or credit recovery. The state also mentions providing a Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Data and Statistics team that can support deeper data analysis if requested.

Quality Standards: Michigan will be supporting program alignment with the Michigan State Board of Education’s Michigan Out-of-School-Time Quality Standards (which include a Self-Assessment Checklist). The standards will be part of a broader effort supporting professional development and training towards evidence based practice for programs.

Continuous Quality Improvement: Ohio will be creating and supporting networked improvement communities that districts can opt into.

Evaluation: Massachusetts will be encouraging use of the Survey of Academic Youth Outcomes (SAYO). The tool provides a research based means of measuring youth academic and social and emotional outcomes associated with participation in high quality afterschool programs.

FUTURE FOWARD

Fostering Innovation: Connecticut has not finalized their plans for the afterschool 1%, but is convening roundtables of afterschool partners, families, students, industry experts, and the broader community to envision innovative, outside the box programming. The state’s summer funds also offer a specific grant funding stream for programs offering “innovative” and “bold” models.

Grant Cycles: Oklahoma will have a number of competitive summer grant cycles with the goal of looking at the effectiveness of programming in the 2021-2022 cycle as a basis for preparing increasingly effective programs in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.

Building a Future Workforce: South Carolina’s summer plan includes coordinating with the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) and the SC Technical College System to establish a summer teaching intern program for post-secondary students. Students will receive financial and academic support and will learn about next steps in the teacher certification process. Additionally, the afterschool funds in the state will be managed through a partnership with the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance (SCAA) and will provide funding to  afterschool programs) can include “educators in training.”

Sustainability: Oregon is working across funding streams including ARP, 21st CCLC, and the state’s student success funds. The plan mentions, “This cohesive concept system will enable the state to leverage state and federal dollars to build a comprehensive technical assistance program focused on increasing the quality of programs that can be sustained through other programs after ARP ESSER funds are no longer available.” The state also suggests LEAs consider hiring outreach coordinators to connect with students and families in culturally responsive student and family centered ways as a means to help programs identify, recruit, and retain students most in need of supports.

Take a moment to read more about any of the practices outlined above in the State ARP ESSER Plans on the U.S. Department of Education page. The Department of Education will be continuing to post state plans as they are submitted. The Department will also continue reporting which state plans have been approved along with state approval letters which include mention of any additional steps states may still be responsible for completing as the plan process moves forward.

Have something you think is worth highlighting or additional thoughts and comments? Let us know.

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BY: Erik Peterson      05/07/21

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

Biden administration proposes infrastructure plan including funds for schools, child care

In late March the administration announced the first part of its Build Back Better infrastructure plan. Called the American Jobs Plan, it would invest more than $200 billion in education and education-related infrastructure, including $100 billion for school construction and modernization, $12...

BY: Erik Peterson      04/12/21

American Rescue Plan: How will the funds flow? What do I need to do?

The American Rescue Plan provides $500 billion that can be used in part to support young people during the hours they are out of school. Funds specifically available for afterschool and summer programs in the Plan include:  $8.45B available from SEAs, including:  $1.22B...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/12/21

President Biden proposes American Rescue Plan including education funding

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

BY: Erik Peterson      01/20/21

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

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

BY: Erik Peterson      12/23/20