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Primary season is here! Where do candidates stand on afterschool?

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Primary season is here! Where do candidates stand on afterschool?

With the 2020 presidential election only 10 months away and primary voting now under way, it is a good time to check in once again on where the presidential candidates stand on afterschool and summer learning as an issue. As we discussed in our blog last fall, education and childcare has been a popular campaign topic for many candidates, from student loan forgiveness to increasing teacher pay, however several candidates have gone on the record in support of afterschool and summer learning programs as well.

While the nonpartisan Afterschool Alliance does not endorse candidates, we do track their proposals related to support for afterschool and summer learning programs and have summarized the positions of the candidates that have gone on the record in support of afterschool, community schools, summer learning, and wrap around supports for school age children.

As of February 2020, here is where the 2020 presidential candidates of both parties stand with regard to support for afterschool programs. Note the candidates that have not addressed afterschool programs are not included in this list:

Republicans

President Trump: While afterschool programs are not mentioned specifically in his campaign platform, the president’s budget has three times sought to eliminate funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal funding stream dedicated to afterschool and summer learning programs. On a personal level the president has supported local afterschool programs in New York City in the past.

Democrats

Joe Biden, the former vice president, has outlined a number of education proposals and specifically has addressed the need for afterschool programs, career and technical education, as well community schools with support services for children and families. During a candidate debate in January 2020 he stated: "Why don't we insist on there being early education? Preschool... Why don't we have afterschool programs, [which] have been cut so drastically around the country?" He has also spoken about his call to triple federal Title I funding for schools serving low-income students, noting that those funds will in part go to afterschool programs.  His campaign website all speaks to community schools: "When parents are working hard to make ends meet, it can be difficult if not impossible for them to navigate various family needs like after-school care, health and social services, and adult education courses..." Community schools work with families, students, teachers and community organizations to identify families’ unmet needs and then develop a plan to leverage community resources to address these needs in the school building, turning schools into community hubs. Biden will expand the federal investment in full service community schools, providing wraparound supports for an additional 300,000 students and their families.

Michael R. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, promotes both the need of career and technical education and his track record in this area on his campaign website. He does not mention afterschool programs and in 2012 and 2013 as mayor of New York City, his budget proposed cuts to city afterschool program funding. Ultimately the cuts were fought off by local afterschool advocates

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has spoken on the need for investment in education. His platform includes a proposal to fund the Serve America Act to increase service opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000 in the existing federal and AmeriCorps grantee organizations and through new Service Year Fellowships, targeting high school, community college, vocational, HBCUs and MSI students, and opportunity youth (out-of-school and work). In November of 2019 he released a child-care plan that calls for $700 billion in spending over the next decade on “affordable, universal, high-quality early learning” as well as “outside-of-school learning opportunities in K-12 education.” The campaign said that learning and care for lower-income families will be free through age 5, and “affordable for all families.” Buttigieg will also fund a “program to provide cost assistance to working and middle class families for afterschool care and summer programming, helping to combat the summer learning loss that disproportionately hurts low-income and minority youth.”

Amy Klobuchar, current U.S. senator from Minnesota, has announced as part of her campaign’s support for education and teachers, that as president she would find ways for states to invest in afterschool & community hubs for working families. “I have experienced this myself:  how easy it was when you have afterschool programming at the school. My daughter, up through middle school or high school, was almost always in one of those programs. I saw how they vary when they did art, when they did different things, and I’m just a big believer in these because not everyone’s work schedules fit the school schedule. So the first thing I would do would be to align the school schedules with the schedules of parents, which includes afterschool. I put forward these ‘progress partnerships’ which would allow a pot of money from the federal government to reward states who are doing the right thing, and I think that would be a big piece of afterschool. The second would be infrastructure for schools, which would include building out classrooms that would be more suitable for afterschool. That is a big part of my infrastructure plan, and I was the first candidate to put an infrastructure plan out there and that includes schools. It’s just all about having the will to do it, making sure the budget is there and then coming up with best examples of what’s working around the country and creative ways we can do this so it’s available. But to pretend it’s not happening and to just leave kids on their own to sit around the house is a very bad idea. I also look at that from back when I was a DA and a prosecutor. That was the scariest time actually. It wasn’t at night when they would start getting involved in bad things, it was after school. It was really important to work to get kids in school, to make sure they had a place to live that was solid, to make sure they could keep going to the same school, and then having adequate afterschool.”

Under her plan, states would find ways to help working families with after-school programs or community hubs. Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, was in Houston. She said it was gratifying “to hear that all the candidates seem to be talking about the things we’re talking about,” including the teacher shortage, students’ unmet needs, standardized testing and full funding of special-education programs.

Specht called Klobuchar’s ideas “quite comprehensive” and added, “I love the idea of meeting the needs of working families.”

Bernie Sanders, current U.S. senator from Vermont and past presidential candidate, outlined an extensive education campaign platform with multiple investments including investing $5 billion annually in afterschool and summer learning programs. "Disgracefully, the Trump administration has proposed eliminating $2 billion in funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, which would devastate some 1.7 million children and families. We should expand the number of programs in order to meet the need. For every child now in an after-school program, two more are waiting to get in."

Elizabeth Warren, current Senator from Massachusetts, released her new candidate education plan last October. The plan would invest an additional $100 billion over ten years in “Excellence Grants” to any public school. That’s the equivalent of $1 million for every public school in the country to invest in options that schools and districts identify to help their students. These funds can be used to develop state-of-the art labs, restore afterschool arts programs, implement school-based student mentoring programs, and more. Her plan also emphasizes Community Schools and would invest in developing sustainable community schools – with the goal of helping 25,000 public schools transition to the community school framework by 2030. Community schools center around wraparound services, family and community engagement, afterschool programs and expanded learning time, and collaborative leadership structures.

Stay tuned for updates from the campaign trail and review our election toolkit and candidate guide (being updated for the 2020 election).

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Trump administration proposes eliminating afterschool, again

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Trump administration proposes eliminating afterschool, again

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Get the latest afterschool STEM news in your inbox

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BY: Guest Blogger      06/25/19

Get the latest afterschool STEM news in your inbox

The next issue of the Afterschool Lab Report is coming at the end of April. Brought to you each quarter by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the newsletter provides the latest STEM education policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new...

BY: Leah Silverberg      04/15/19

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BY: Chris Neitzey      04/09/19

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BY: Chris Neitzey      12/18/18

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Afterschool goes to college

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BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18

Get the latest afterschool STEM news in your inbox

The next issue of the Afterschool Lab Report is coming in just a few days. Brought to you each quarter by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the newsletter provides the latest STEM education policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new...

BY: Leah Silverberg      10/31/19

Bipartisan Youth Workforce Readiness Act announced

In late September, plans to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Youth Workforce Readiness Act were announced in the House and Senate by Sen. Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep .Josh Harder (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). The legislation would provide funding for hands-on skills education at...

BY: Erik Peterson      10/03/19

Federal support for STEM and making in afterschool

Picture a center filled with computers, paired with a wood and metal shop, combined with a sewing studio, mixed with an arts and crafts room, filled with people of all ages building and making things to solve problems – this is the foundation of a maker space. Maker spaces were born out of...

BY: Leah Silverberg      08/12/19

Afterschool makes a difference for middle school career exposure in CTE

“Imaginations are what will carry us to the future, and (for me) Digital Harbor helped to expand it,” 7th grader Jacob Leggette proclaimed in front of the full room at the Senate Career and Technical (CTE) Education Caucus  and Afterschool Alliance Briefing on June 25. The...

BY: Jillian Luchner      07/09/19

Putting afterschool to work: Career exploration in out-of-school settings

By Jillian Luchner, Christopher Neitzey, and Austin Estes from Advance CTE. This is a cross-post of the first blog post in a series on the intersection of CTE and afterschool programs, exploring strategies and opportunities to bridge learning both in and out of the classroom. The original...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/25/19

Get the latest afterschool STEM news in your inbox

The next issue of the Afterschool Lab Report is coming at the end of April. Brought to you each quarter by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the newsletter provides the latest STEM education policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new...

BY: Leah Silverberg      04/15/19

New toolkit for partnering on career and technical education

In July 2018, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, or Perkins V, was passed by Congress and signed into law. The legislation reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and provides much needed updates to the law that reflect the...

BY: Chris Neitzey      04/09/19

Investments in quality afterschool STEM policy will continue in 2019

For successful advocacy efforts, slow and steady wins the race. Advancing legislation or budget requests at the state or federal level requires resources, content expertise, and a dedication that often spans a timeframe far longer than originally anticipated. As we enter the third year of a...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/18/18

What does the Trump administration’s 5-Year STEM Education Strategy mean for afterschool?

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine On December 4, the White House released their five-year STEM education plan, entitled Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education. The plan is a required component of the America COMPETES Act of 2010, which mandates that the...

BY: Chris Neitzey      12/07/18

Afterschool goes to college

After celebrating an updated law in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in July, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” in the education landscape for Congress. One thing on the agenda is the Higher Education Act, or HEA, which governs federal investments in making quality...

BY: Jillian Luchner      10/09/18