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?

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, the state passed appropriation bills to cover some of the cost of living increase for the program, the legislation now provides $650 million dollars for programs across the state.
    • Connecticut: Established anAfter school program grantfor 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. In 2019, the state provided an additional $1 million appropriation to the program.
    • 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
  • Student Achievement: Afterschool has a strong research base on supporting students in these areas and states are looking to afterschool as a partner in building school success.

    • Oregon (HB 3427) established a Fund for Student Success in the state treasury which can be spent on a variety of methods to increase instructional time, including before and afterschool and summer programs.
    • Utah (SB 149) created a teacher and student success program and fund that districts can use to improve school performance or student academic achievement, including before and afterschool programs as allowable activities.
    • Texas’ (HB1)  general appropriations act creates a Student Success Initiative which provides grants to low performing schools in struggling neighborhoods for comprehensive support programs that leverage academic, community and governmental supports.
    • New Mexico (HB 236) established the Attendance for Student Success Act requiring schools to have attendance policies which include the potential provision additional educational opportunities to students struggling with attendance, and establishing partnerships with community organizations including recreational, social and out-of-school programs
  • 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. The legislation was changed in 2019.
  • Community Schools
    • Maryland: Maryland passed legislation in 2016 connecting community schools and the work of the Maryland Out of School Time network to offer an authorized $7.5 million in grants. In 2019 SB 1030 codified the language of what a community school is through the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. The definition ensured community schools include community partners and wraparound services of which a subset is extended learning time such as afterschool. The legislation also created a program that funds community school coordinators and ensures the presence of a full time professional health care practitioner at schools with high concentrations of poverty (where the population of students receiving free and reduced lunches is above 80%).
    • ECS- The Education Commission of the States has a good site-  https://www.ecs.org/ec-content/uploads/State-Information-Request_Community-Schools.pdf
  • STEM
    • 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
  • School Funding Formulas:
    • New Mexico (HB 5) passed a comprehensive education bill that specifically created an Extended Learning Time Program which provides additional per student funding if a school chooses to meet a required 190 days per school year, provide afterschool program opportunities for academic learning or extra-curricular enrichment, and provide a minimum of 80 non-instructional professional development hours for staff. The law also includes a more general at-risk index provision of extra per-pupil funds for student supports that can be used on interventions such as “afterschool programs delivered by social workers, counselors, teachers or other professional staff” and has additional funding that can be used for summer.


  • Governor’s Efforts:
  • Also see Education for the State's (ECS) Reviews of Governor's Education Related Proposals in State of the State addresses
    • 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


See an National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) summary of 2019 Afterschool Policy