State Budget Process

Learn how to work within the budget process to find funding for afterschool

Sometimes it is not necessary to draft a piece of legislation. Sometimes it’s possible to get state agency officials, the budget committee or the chief executive to include special appropriation language to support afterschool.

For more information on influencing the budget process, view this handout that describes a generic state’s budget detail and gives Colorado-specific information as an example. This same document also highlights Lakewood, Ohio’s city budget process to provide information on influencing city-level budgets for afterschool appropriations.

In addition, three state case studies (New Mexico, Kansas and Connecticut) detail what was involved in their budget processes that expanded afterschool funding.  Look at the Georgia example below for another approach. If there’s a lesson that is universal among these examples it is this: Take advantage of opportunities that present themselves, AND develop champions among elected officials — they can influence legislation and budget decisions in ways you cannot. 

Georgia: Transferring TANF Funds to Afterschool and Child Care

A budget maneuver transferring federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to existing programs in other parts of the budget resulted in new funds for afterschool programs and child care subsidies.  States have several options on how these funds can be used to support families in their state.  Advocates learned which programs support afterschool in their state and how carryover funds from one fiscal year to the next may be used to support good programs that serve families in need.

For the second year, the Georgia General Assembly has allocated $14 million in federal TANF dollars to support afterschool programs in community-based organizations and schools. This program served more than 19,000 children and youth all across the state last year. The advocacy efforts of afterschool and child care advocates also paid off with a transfer of $20.3 million in TANF funds to the state’s child care subsidy program, for FY09. These dollars should support between 5,000 and 6,000 children and youth from low-income families.