Archives:

Select:

American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

READ FULL STORY

American Rescue Plan funds one year later: Support for afterschool, summer learning

A little more than one year ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law, providing billions in funding to support communities and youth impacted by the pandemic, and naming afterschool and summer learning programs as one strategy to invest in to support young people. So have funds been invested in such programs? What are they accomplishing?

While funding is still rolling out in some communities, and evaluations of funded programs in other communities are not yet available, we are seeing trends emerge and strong examples of the ways students are being supported thanks to investment of ARPA funds in afterschool and summer enrichment. With funds available for expenditure for the next several years, there is ample time to shape continued investments, especially at the local level.

Funding Available

ARPA included approximately $500 billion in funds across a wide range of programs that can be used in part to support young people during the hours they are out of school. With more than 24 million students from ages 5 to 18 unable to access afterschool programs, these funds have the potential to close opportunity gaps and reconnect millions of young people.  Funds included in the law that can be used specifically for afterschool and summer programs: 

  • $8.45B available from State Education Agencies (SEAs) through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III), including: 
    • $1.22B set-aside for summer enrichment
    • $1.22B set-aside for comprehensive afterschool programs
    • 5%, approximately, $6.1B, for learning loss recovery with comprehensive afterschool, summer learning, and extended school day and school year all mentioned
  • $22B provided to school districts for learning loss recovery strategies including comprehensive afterschool, summer learning, and extended school day and school year.
  • $39 billion for child care divided into Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) discretionary funds and child care stabilizations funds, which can include school-age care provided afterschool or during the summer, which will flow through state child care agencies. 
  • $1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service through AmeriCorps for AmeriCorps positions to help address learning loss recovery and other purposes
  • $350 billion for state and local governments through the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund from the Department of Treasury that can be used in part for youth development programs afterschool and during the summer, learning loss recovery, child care and other purposes.

While some progress has been made in investing these funds, states, localities, school districts, and community-based organizations still have work to do, planning, allocating, and implementing the funds. Depending on the funding stream, decisionmakers have until 2023 or 2024 (for child care and education funds) to December 2026 (for state and local fiscal recovery funds) to obligate and spend the ARPA funds.

The funding provides an opportunity to build on the supports that community-based afterschool and summer program providers have been providing students during the pandemic, from providing remote learning help and enrichment to meals, to mentoring and well-being check-ins. These programs draw on decades of research that show afterschool and summer programs boost academic, social, and emotional learning. Schools have an opportunity to leverage support from community-based afterschool and summer programs to help students re-engage, re-connect, and recover.

Child Care Funds

ARPA child care funds have resulted in grant programs at the state level that can be accessed by afterschool providers in some states (see this blog for an overview of that process). For example, Hawaii is offering an extra $650 base award per child for children in licensed before/afterschool programs or the state's A+ afterschool programs, with additional add-ons for employee retention. Idaho is offering 3 rounds (Nov, Feb, and April) of grant opportunities to licensed or certified afterschool providers. Connecticut has funds set aside specifically for programs agreeing to increase staff compensation.

Corporation for National and Community Service Funds

The $1 billion in funding through the Corporation for National and Community Service is being used to make service more accessible and inclusive, increasing the diversity, cultural experiences, and number of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Senior volunteers serving in communities across the country, and to help stabilize existing national service programs and expand into new communities. In some places, afterschool and summer programs that host AmeriCorps or AmeriCorps VISTA members are being supported with these funds.

State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

The State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds from the Department of Treasury are in the process of being obligated. A recent survey from the National League of Cities found that  cities leveraged  federal CARES and ARPA dollars to invest in afterschool and summer learning opportunities for youth, with the number of cities reporting such investments rising from 28 in the peak pandemic period to 47 during pandemic recovery. According to their report, “NLC expects to see these investments continue and grow, given that communities have until 2024 to make their budgetary decisions about how to spend their ARPA dollars.”

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) – State Education Agency level

The state-level American Rescue Plan ESSER III funds set aside for comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment programs present an excellent opportunity for state education agencies, either on their own or in partnership with statewide afterschool networks and other stakeholders, to invest in community-based afterschool and summer providers. A number of states are doing just that, providing a wide range of examples of how local afterschool and summer programs can be supported and expanded to meet the needs of students and families:

  • 50 states and territories have ESSER plans approved by the federal Department  of Education as of early January, 2022
  • 31 state plans propose grant funding for comprehensive afterschool programs that includes eligibility for community-based programs and school-community partnerships 
  • 23 states propose eligibility for school- community partnerships as part of summer enrichment grant programs 
  • $2.7 billion of ESSER III funding has been invested to date at the state level into comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment programs through community-based programs and school-community partnerships 

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) – Local School District level

At the local level, American Rescue Plan ESSER III funds were allocated to Title I eligible school districts. . Twenty percent of the funds received by each district are specifically designated for learning loss recovery with comprehensive afterschool, summer learning, and extended school day and school year all mentioned in the law as specific strategies. Each district was asked to solicit community input and feedback on a local plan for the use of their ESSER III funds. While a significant percentage of district plans mention funding afterschool, summer learning, or year-round out of school time programs, the specifics of the plans vary widely.

The legislation requires that comprehensive afterschool and summer learning programs be evidence-based, including employing strategies like community partnerships, parent engagement, and staff trained in positive youth development, a preliminary review of a range of district level plans from across the national finds that many do not include the detail required to determine if evidence-based practices are being employed. We will continue to do a more in-depth review of local ESSER plans to determine how many district plans include comprehensive, evidence-based programs, and how many are working with community partners; versus how many districts might be limiting their afterschool support to offering homework without enrichment or any comprehensive supports. Given the limitations of what is provided in district plans, the following trends, based on a scan of the 3,200 local school district ARP ESSER plans included in the March 15, 2022 Burbio dataset, should be viewed with the understanding that a deeper analysis is needed:

  • 528 school districts (about 17 percent) include year-round (afterschool and summer) programs, allocating a total of $1.5 billion
  • 954 school district plans (about 30 percent) include afterschool programs, allocating a total of $645 million
  • 1,483 school district plans (about 46 percent) include summer learning programs, allocating a total of $1.4 billion
  • A combined 2,965 school districts (about 93 percent) have pledged a total of $3.5 billion for year-round, afterschool, and summer programs through fall 2024
  • Note that local district plans mentioning afterschool, summer and year-round programs vary considerably in what the proposed programming looks like: not all are comprehensive, some utilize community partnerships, many do not. Additional analysis continues to determine how many districts’ plans include comprehensive, evidence-based programs, and how many are working with community partners; versus how many are only providing homework help after school without holistic supports.

While much of the story is yet to be written and challenges persist around staffing, accessing funds to develop true school-community partnerships, and navigating federal grant requirements, the potential for transformative change remains as communities work to harness the federal ARP dollars into quality, comprehensive afterschool and summer learning opportunities that can ignite the passions of millions of young people.  

Changes coming to summer meals program for summer 2024

While snow is on the ground in many parts of the country, it is not too early to think about summer learning and enrichment program planning, and how to ensure nutritious meals are part of all comprehensive summer learning programs. On December 29, 2023, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/22/24

Extending the liquidation deadline of ESSER III funds to promote student success

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released a letter sent to state education agencies outlining the process for requesting American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding extensions. The process will be similar to what was announced for ESSER I and...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/19/24

Appropriations update: Countdown till next CR deadline

Update – Jan. 18, 2024, 5PM ET: This afternoon the Senate and then the House passed a stopgap spending bill to officially keep all federal agencies funded through early March, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk where he is expected to sign the continuing resolution into law....

BY: Erik Peterson      01/18/24

Child Care Development Plan Cycle for 2025-2027 begins now with stakeholder input

Happy 2024! A new year is a time for new beginnings, strengthening what has worked, and changing what we need to improve upon. Child care policy is undergoing its own new year’s revisions, and as key stakeholders, school-age child care providers and afterschool and summer programs serving...

BY: Jillian Luchner      01/05/24

House Education Committee advances workforce bill

On December 12, 2023, the House Education and the Workforce Committee, led by Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) passed H.R. 6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act by a vote of 44 to 1. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/21/23

Community schools: New grants, new legislation, continued synergy with afterschool and summer

Late last month, a new round of Full Service Community Schools grants were announced by the US Department of Education, including several state scaling grants for IL, ID, FL and NC. Also in late November, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ben...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/18/23

Comments sought on proposed change to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) regulations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently proposed changes to improve the effectiveness and integrity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) regulations. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is meant to help...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/21/23

FY 24 Appropriations update: Continuing Resolution, education spending bills, and… shutdown averted?

Update – Nov. 16, 2023: Last night the ‘two-tiered’ Continuing Resolution that will keep federal funding intact until Jan. 19, 2024, (for Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Transportation-HUDs) and until Feb. 2, 2024, (for all other federal agencies...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/15/23

Federal appropriations update: Are we headed for a shutdown?

Congress is back in session after its annual August recess, and at the top of their to-do list is addressing spending for the fiscal year that begins October 1. As we touched on last month, lawmakers are staring down a fast-approaching deadline for action on FY 2024 spending. It is clear that...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/15/23

New Perkins Innovation and Modernization Grant Opportunity Makes Space for Afterschool Partnerships

Applications for $25 Million in new awards through the Perkins Innovation and Modernization Program through the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education are now open to educational entities such as school districts and institutes of higher education. Additional partnerships are prioritized,...

BY: Jillian Luchner      09/08/23

Appropriations update: Countdown till next CR deadline

Update – Jan. 18, 2024, 5PM ET: This afternoon the Senate and then the House passed a stopgap spending bill to officially keep all federal agencies funded through early March, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk where he is expected to sign the continuing resolution into law....

BY: Erik Peterson      01/18/24

Child Care Development Plan Cycle for 2025-2027 begins now with stakeholder input

Happy 2024! A new year is a time for new beginnings, strengthening what has worked, and changing what we need to improve upon. Child care policy is undergoing its own new year’s revisions, and as key stakeholders, school-age child care providers and afterschool and summer programs serving...

BY: Jillian Luchner      01/05/24

House Education Committee advances workforce bill

On December 12, 2023, the House Education and the Workforce Committee, led by Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) passed H.R. 6655, A Stronger Workforce for America Act by a vote of 44 to 1. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/21/23

FY 24 Appropriations update: Continuing Resolution, education spending bills, and… shutdown averted?

Update – Nov. 16, 2023: Last night the ‘two-tiered’ Continuing Resolution that will keep federal funding intact until Jan. 19, 2024, (for Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Transportation-HUDs) and until Feb. 2, 2024, (for all other federal agencies...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/15/23

Federal appropriations update: Are we headed for a shutdown?

Congress is back in session after its annual August recess, and at the top of their to-do list is addressing spending for the fiscal year that begins October 1. As we touched on last month, lawmakers are staring down a fast-approaching deadline for action on FY 2024 spending. It is clear that...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/15/23

Summer is ending! What is the status of appropriations for STEM education on Capitol Hill?

As is the case each August, Congress has left Washington D.C., for several weeks. The month’s slower pace gives STEM, education and afterschool advocates an opportunity to digest what happened in the frantic days before the recess and assess what remains to be done in 2023. The annual...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      08/28/23

Back to school means back to D.C. for Congress. What’s ahead in September?

The slower pace of August in Washington, D.C., is nearing its end. The imminent return of the U.S. Congress to Capitol Hill and the people’s business suggests the need for revisiting what lawmakers did before the August recess and what faces them in September. As students and teachers go back...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/25/23

Senate appropriators propose level funding for 21st CCLC in FY 2024

The Senate Appropriations Committee released and marked up their Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill on July 27, 2023. The bill proposes $224.4 billion in total funding for Fiscal Year 2024. The Nita M Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/31/23

Senate Afterschool Caucus briefing highlights the impact of afterschool and summer programs

On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate Afterschool Caucus, in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance and the National Summer Learning Association, held a briefing on how the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is making a positive difference for youth, families, and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/18/23

House Appropriators mark-up FY 2024 Education spending bill

This week, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee pushed the FY 2024 appropriations process forward by holding multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On Friday, July 14, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/14/23

Appropriations update: Countdown till next CR deadline

Update – Jan. 18, 2024, 5PM ET: This afternoon the Senate and then the House passed a stopgap spending bill to officially keep all federal agencies funded through early March, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk where he is expected to sign the continuing resolution into law....

BY: Erik Peterson      01/18/24

21st CCLC is 25: Join us in an upcoming year of visioning the future of 21st Century Community Learning Centers

As the year wraps up, we offer a final cheer in celebration of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative’s twenty fifth year! It was a year filled with an information packed 21st CCLC Summer Institute; the continuation of the federal Engage Every Student...

BY: Jillian Luchner      12/20/23

FY 24 Appropriations update: Continuing Resolution, education spending bills, and… shutdown averted?

Update – Nov. 16, 2023: Last night the ‘two-tiered’ Continuing Resolution that will keep federal funding intact until Jan. 19, 2024, (for Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Transportation-HUDs) and until Feb. 2, 2024, (for all other federal agencies...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/15/23

Federal appropriations update: Are we headed for a shutdown?

Congress is back in session after its annual August recess, and at the top of their to-do list is addressing spending for the fiscal year that begins October 1. As we touched on last month, lawmakers are staring down a fast-approaching deadline for action on FY 2024 spending. It is clear that...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/15/23

Summer is ending! What is the status of appropriations for STEM education on Capitol Hill?

As is the case each August, Congress has left Washington D.C., for several weeks. The month’s slower pace gives STEM, education and afterschool advocates an opportunity to digest what happened in the frantic days before the recess and assess what remains to be done in 2023. The annual...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      08/28/23

Senate appropriators propose level funding for 21st CCLC in FY 2024

The Senate Appropriations Committee released and marked up their Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill on July 27, 2023. The bill proposes $224.4 billion in total funding for Fiscal Year 2024. The Nita M Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/31/23

ED extends time for comments on 21st CCLC Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance

Afterschool providers and allies now have until July 7 to comment on the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance. We are grateful to the Department of Education for recognizing the significance of this updated guidance and providing additional time for feedback....

BY: Jillian Luchner      06/22/23

Congress passes deal to raise debt limit and constrain spending

UPDATE: June 2, 2023: Late on the night of June 1, the U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act by a vote of 63-36, about 24 hours after the House passed the bill with a bipartisan vote of 314-117. The President is expected to sign the bill into law today. On May 31, the House passed the...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/01/23

Your feedback needed on 21st Century Community Learning Center draft non-regulatory guidance

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended from June 16th to July 7th. The U.S. Department of Education is accepting feedback through June 16, 2023, on Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Draft Non-Regulatory Guidance PDF. This represents the first time in 20 years that...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/22/23

Making the case for increasing 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding

On March 23, Alabama Expanded Learning Alliance Co-director Felicia Simpson testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in support of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/27/23

FY 24 Appropriations update: Continuing Resolution, education spending bills, and… shutdown averted?

Update – Nov. 16, 2023: Last night the ‘two-tiered’ Continuing Resolution that will keep federal funding intact until Jan. 19, 2024, (for Military Construction-VA, Agriculture, Energy and Water, and Transportation-HUDs) and until Feb. 2, 2024, (for all other federal agencies...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/15/23

Federal appropriations update: Are we headed for a shutdown?

Congress is back in session after its annual August recess, and at the top of their to-do list is addressing spending for the fiscal year that begins October 1. As we touched on last month, lawmakers are staring down a fast-approaching deadline for action on FY 2024 spending. It is clear that...

BY: Erik Peterson      09/15/23

Summer is ending! What is the status of appropriations for STEM education on Capitol Hill?

As is the case each August, Congress has left Washington D.C., for several weeks. The month’s slower pace gives STEM, education and afterschool advocates an opportunity to digest what happened in the frantic days before the recess and assess what remains to be done in 2023. The annual...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      08/28/23

Back to school means back to D.C. for Congress. What’s ahead in September?

The slower pace of August in Washington, D.C., is nearing its end. The imminent return of the U.S. Congress to Capitol Hill and the people’s business suggests the need for revisiting what lawmakers did before the August recess and what faces them in September. As students and teachers go back...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/25/23

Senate appropriators propose level funding for 21st CCLC in FY 2024

The Senate Appropriations Committee released and marked up their Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill on July 27, 2023. The bill proposes $224.4 billion in total funding for Fiscal Year 2024. The Nita M Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/31/23

House Appropriators mark-up FY 2024 Education spending bill

This week, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee pushed the FY 2024 appropriations process forward by holding multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On Friday, July 14, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/14/23

Congress passes deal to raise debt limit and constrain spending

UPDATE: June 2, 2023: Late on the night of June 1, the U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act by a vote of 63-36, about 24 hours after the House passed the bill with a bipartisan vote of 314-117. The President is expected to sign the bill into law today. On May 31, the House passed the...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/01/23

Making the case for increasing 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding

On March 23, Alabama Expanded Learning Alliance Co-director Felicia Simpson testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in support of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/27/23

FY 2024 budget proposal is disappointing for 21st CCLC, but includes other afterschool related increases

Today the Biden administration released its FY 2024 discretionary budget request, formally kicking of the FY2024 appropriations process, while debate around raising the debt ceiling continues. With regard to afterschool and summer learning support, the proposal requests $1,329,673 for the Nita M....

BY: Erik Peterson      03/09/23

March madness = Budget & appropriations process kickoff!

This year, early March means the release of the president’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year and the beginning of the FY 2024 appropriations process in Congress. Here's what we know so far about how this year’s process may roll out in the coming year.  On or...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/01/23

Changes coming to summer meals program for summer 2024

While snow is on the ground in many parts of the country, it is not too early to think about summer learning and enrichment program planning, and how to ensure nutritious meals are part of all comprehensive summer learning programs. On December 29, 2023, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/22/24

Community schools: New grants, new legislation, continued synergy with afterschool and summer

Late last month, a new round of Full Service Community Schools grants were announced by the US Department of Education, including several state scaling grants for IL, ID, FL and NC. Also in late November, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Ben...

BY: Erik Peterson      12/18/23

Year in review: 2023 state budget success

This year’s state budget session was one of the most impactful regarding growing investments in afterschool and summer programs at the state level. We saw newcomers join a growing number of states utilizing state funds to create afterschool funding streams. We also saw states with existing...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/14/23

Office of Child Care inquiring what should be included in State Child Care Development Fund plans

Update – The Afterschool Alliance has drafted comments on this notice that can be reviewed here. The three-year cycle for State Plans for Child Care and Development funds is upon us, and the federal government is now providing an opportunity to comment on the form states must fill out to...

BY: Jillian Luchner      08/08/23

Empowering youth voices: Reflecting on the 2023 Youth Policy Forum

By Keem Anderson, associate director at Ignite Afterschool (MN). At Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s statewide afterschool network, we recently had the privilege of hosting our 2023 Youth Policy Forum, an event dedicated to amplifying youth voice, advocating for impactful policies that...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/07/23

2023 state budgets bring new investments in afterschool programs

The end of state legislative sessions have now come to a close in most states, and with this closure comes news of new states establishing afterschool funding streams or expanding existing ones in their state budgets. This year, four new states have joined a growing list of states that support...

BY: Chris Neitzey      07/11/23

Mental health and wellness a popular topic in state legislatures in 2023

Last year, as states grappled with ways to reengage students as the recovery from the pandemic set in, student mental health came to the forefront in many state legislatures. In Georgia last year, the state legislature passed HB1013, the Mental Health Parity Act, to address mental health...

BY: Chris Neitzey      05/11/23

State legislatures looking to increase investments in afterschool

We took at look at how governors across the country are supporting afterschool in a previous post, but what kind of progress is being made in state legislatures for afterschool? It turns out, quite a bit. Below is a sampling of the different bills that have been introduced in state legislatures...

BY: Chris Neitzey      03/24/23

Governors for afterschool – 2023 edition

Last year, governors from across the country highlighted the vital role afterschool programs play in their State of the State speeches and budget proposals. Some of these efforts led to new funding streams for afterschool, as in in Alabama and Michigan; expansion of funding in states like...

BY: Chris Neitzey      03/07/23

Statewide afterschool networks continue to advance STEM as a policy priority at the state level

The Afterschool Alliance and STEM Education Coalition enter our seventh year of a project to support the development and advancement of STEM learning at the state level, in partnership with the Statewide Afterschool Networks and funded by the Overdeck Family Foundation. This year’s cohort...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/14/23

Comments sought on proposed change to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) regulations

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently proposed changes to improve the effectiveness and integrity of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) regulations. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is meant to help...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/21/23

Summer is ending! What is the status of appropriations for STEM education on Capitol Hill?

As is the case each August, Congress has left Washington D.C., for several weeks. The month’s slower pace gives STEM, education and afterschool advocates an opportunity to digest what happened in the frantic days before the recess and assess what remains to be done in 2023. The annual...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      08/28/23

Back to school means back to D.C. for Congress. What’s ahead in September?

The slower pace of August in Washington, D.C., is nearing its end. The imminent return of the U.S. Congress to Capitol Hill and the people’s business suggests the need for revisiting what lawmakers did before the August recess and what faces them in September. As students and teachers go back...

BY: Erik Peterson      08/25/23

Senate appropriators propose level funding for 21st CCLC in FY 2024

The Senate Appropriations Committee released and marked up their Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill on July 27, 2023. The bill proposes $224.4 billion in total funding for Fiscal Year 2024. The Nita M Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/31/23

House Appropriators mark-up FY 2024 Education spending bill

This week, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee pushed the FY 2024 appropriations process forward by holding multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On Friday, July 14, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/14/23

Congress passes deal to raise debt limit and constrain spending

UPDATE: June 2, 2023: Late on the night of June 1, the U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act by a vote of 63-36, about 24 hours after the House passed the bill with a bipartisan vote of 314-117. The President is expected to sign the bill into law today. On May 31, the House passed the...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/01/23

March madness = Budget & appropriations process kickoff!

This year, early March means the release of the president’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year and the beginning of the FY 2024 appropriations process in Congress. Here's what we know so far about how this year’s process may roll out in the coming year.  On or...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/01/23

STEM education update: Good news and looking ahead

In the final weeks of 2022, Congress passed a $1.7 trillion spending bill to fund every agency through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2023. The bill was the product of weeks of negotiations and defense spending, supporting the CHIPS and Science Act and some policy issues attached to the bill took...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      02/23/23

Mammoth spending bill includes support for afterschool, summer, mentoring, and more

In December, the 117th Congress approved a $1.7 trillion bill that included a $40 million increase for the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative and additional increases across the US Department of Education important to afterschool programs, public schools,...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/23/23

Opportunity: CCDF supplemental funds available for school-age programs

Now and over the next year, states are focusing on spending “child care CCDF supplemental funds” that must be obligated by 2023 and liquidated in 2024. State administrative agencies of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF, also known as CCDBG) recently faced three concurrent...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/25/22

Extending the liquidation deadline of ESSER III funds to promote student success

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released a letter sent to state education agencies outlining the process for requesting American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding extensions. The process will be similar to what was announced for ESSER I and...

BY: Erik Peterson      01/19/24

Beyond relief – New tools to help sustain the impactful pandemic investments in afterschool and summer

Children’s Funding Project, in collaboration with Grantmakers for Education and our team at the Afterschool Alliance released an important new tool for the field, “Funding Out-Of-School Time Programs – Now and in the Future.” Recognizing that COVID-19 education and child...

BY: Jillian Luchner      09/29/23

Senate Afterschool Caucus briefing highlights the impact of afterschool and summer programs

On Wednesday, July 12, the Senate Afterschool Caucus, in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance and the National Summer Learning Association, held a briefing on how the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is making a positive difference for youth, families, and...

BY: Erik Peterson      07/18/23

$50M in 21st CCLC funds from Bipartisan Safer Communities Act sent to states

This summer, a group of 20 Democratic and Republican Senators, led by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), worked to pass the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which included gun safety measures, mental health support investments, and school safety provisions that aim to...

BY: Erik Peterson      11/03/22

Learning about summer learning

Summer enrichment funding for every state was required in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). The State of Summer Learning Grants: An Analysis of States’ Use of ARP Summer Enrichment published in July by the organization Education...

BY: Jillian Luchner      09/19/22

ARP investments in comprehensive afterschool: Kentucky case-study

By Mahika Gupta and Alexa Kamen, the Afterschool Alliance’s inaugural Summer Policy Interns. Mahika is entering her Senior year at Colby College in Maine, working on degrees in English Creative Writing and Astrophysics and participating as a staff writer for her college paper. Alexa...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/18/22

ARP investments in comprehensive afterschool: Connecticut case-study

By Mahika Gupta and Alexa Kamen, the Afterschool Alliance’s inaugural Summer Policy Interns. Mahika is entering her Senior year at Colby College in Maine, working on degrees in English Creative Writing and Astrophysics and participating as a staff writer for her college paper. Alexa...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/05/22

Roundup of afterschool in State Budgets Part 2

With state legislative sessions wrapping up and state budgets now finalized, we bring you our second installment of the roundup of afterschool funding in state budgets. As highlighted in the previous post from June, this year brought a number of new investments in afterschool at the state level....

BY: Chris Neitzey      07/21/22

For some, a summer of enrichment thanks to ARP dollars

This summer, thanks to pandemic relief funding, some students are experiencing a summer full of exploration, connections with friends and mentors, and learning that is engaging and exciting. After the last couple years, it can be a game changer for youth who have faced isolation, loss, and...

BY: Erik Peterson      06/27/22

Jodi Grant testifies at House hearing in support of afterschool programs

This morning, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant testified at a hearing of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-E) Appropriations Subcommittee in favor of increased funding for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st...

BY: Erik Peterson      05/26/22