Several states have legislation that establishes a sound base for afterschool access, quality, funding and long-term sustainability. How can you go about developing a proposal for legislative action in your state?
View this template for a legislative proposal. In addition to sample language, this template asks questions and raises points you and other advocates will need to consider and agree upon as you create your legislation and before you seek a legislative sponsor. Once you have chosen a legislative goal, you may find the Midwest Academy Strategy Chart (downloadable here) useful in thinking through your campaign.
Learning from other states can be a helpful tool as you plan your own advocacy below are some examples of state legislation across the country. If you have updates, questions, or corrections on the below, please reach out to us and let us know!
State Efforts in Afterschool Legislation and Funding (Selected Examples)
- Funding, Programs, and Line Items
- California: In 2002, California passed a voter initiative referendum known as Prop 49 to begin the Afterschool Education and Safety Program (ASES) and provide funding to elementary and middle schools that submit quality applications throughout the state. Recently, in 2017 the state passed an appropriations bill with cost of living increase for the program, the legislation now provides over $600 million dollars for programs across the state.
- Connecticut: Established an “After school program grant” for programs that take place when school is not in session, provides educational, enrichment and recreational activities for children in grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, and has a parent involvement component. Annual reporting from the program in 2014-15 showed it served about 6,000 students and that participants over time had increased attendance and fewer discipline infractions.
- Tennessee: The Lottery for Education: Afterschool Programs (LEAP) was created in 2002 to reserve unclaimed lottery funds for public and non-profit academic focused afterschool programs serving students aged 5-18 with priority for programs enrolling 80% high-need students. In 2017, the fund was $13.5 million.
- Hawaii: A+ program revolving fund establishes a program through the state department of education which charges families fees to offer afterschool education and enrichment opportunities and the R.E.A.C.H pilot program, though an initiative of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, supports middle school students in the state.
- Minnesota: The state has a financing formula for community education programs funded through a partially equalized aid and levy – that can be used for afterschool enrichment programs and youth development plans. The state also has a funding source for full-service community schools. In 2007, the state passed legislation for afterschool community learning program grants which is codified within the state’s Department of Education.
- Arizona: The state has a tax policy allowing a 1 to 1 credit against state taxes up to $400 for a married couple for money spent on extra-curricular activities, afterschool programs, and character education programs among other expenditures.
- Commissions, Task Forces and Councils
- Data Collection
- Texas: A new law in 2017 instituted legislation to require school districts to report on the percentage of students in schools involved in afterschool and summer learning activities and the number of campuses in a district which offer these programs.
- Maryland: In 2016, the state passed the Robotics Grant Program to provide grants to public schools and nonprofit robotics clubs to support existing robotics programs and increase the number of robotics programs in the State.
- Oklahoma: A 2017 bill, designated lottery funds exceeding a set amount to go to initiatives in reading and STEM.
- Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
- Governor’s Efforts:
- New York (Funding): In 2017, New York's Governor dedicated $35 million in new funding for afterschool across the state.
- Delaware (Funding): In 2017, Delaware’s Governor announced the dedication of almost $1 million of the Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund from the Department of Justice to afterschool programs.
- New Jersey (Commissions) : In 2003, the Governor issued an executive order establishing a committee to expand quality afterschool programs in the state.
- Oregon (STEM): In 2013, a strategic STEM initiative invested $2.8 million in six regional STEM hubs and encouraged the hubs to coordinate with out-of-school STEM learning opportunities. Goal #1 in the STEM Education plan includes: By 2020, Oregon will have expanded participant hours in high-quality afterschool STEM programs by at least 25% with a special emphasis on historically underserved and underrepresented students.
- Arkansas (Joint Use Agreements): In Arkansas a Governor’s initiative supported with the Arkansas Tobacco Excise Tax helps schools implement joint use agreements with community partners.
- Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Policies
- Proposed bills that have not yet become law