LIGHTS ON AFTERSCHOOL
Lights On Afterschool
On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their twelve Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) spending bills. The government is currently being funded under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on Dec. 11. A spending deal must be reached by that date to avoid a government shutdown.
The recent Senate appropriations bills come about four months after the House of Representatives passed 10 out of 12 of their FY 2021 bills (see our blog here). The Senate education appropriations bill does not include emergency funding to address the COVID emergency like the House education appropriations bill does. In addition to the FY21 spending bills, a stand-alone COVID relief measure still may be considered during the lame duck session if Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) can reach a deal on a compromise package.
With the House and Senate spending bills released, and the Senate not planning to mark up its bills in subcommittee, the next step is for conference negotiations to take place. These negotiations between each of the subcommittees’ “four corners” will include representatives of the chair and ranking members of both the House and Senate who will work through the differences of each bill to produce a set of final compromised spending bills. These final bills will then be voted on together in one large omnibus spending package. Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Pelosi have both expressed a desire to complete this work by Dec. 11 when the CR is set to expire. Leadership seems to agree completing the FY 2021 appropriations process is a priority and not something they want to push to the incoming 117th Congress.
Funding continues to be tight within both the House and Senate proposals in order to stay within the budget caps set by the 2020-2021 budget deal, passed in the summer of 2019. This limits the possibility of much-needed funding increases in afterschool and education as whole. Below is an “at-a-glance” table of the FY 2021 proposed funding levels and the proposed changes from FY 2020 for the major funding streams for afterschool.
FY 2020 Level (Millions)
House Level FY21
House Change (Millions)
Senate Level FY21
Senate Change (Millions)
21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV-B)
Child Care and Development Block Grant
Student Success and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV-A)
Career and Technical Education State Grants (CTE)
Full Service Community Schools
Statewide Family Engagement Centers
IDEA State Grants
Note that for afterschool’s two most substantial programs, 21st CCLC and CCDBG, the Senate bill proposed lower funding levels than the House. However the Senate did propose higher levels for other programs of interest such as Title IV-A, and CTE.
The Senate bill includes:
As the work of negotiating a final FY 2021 spending bill for the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services begins, afterschool advocates have an important role to play. The need for afterschool programs is greater than ever, requiring increased investments and access.
There are now three major funding vehicles to ensure afterschool programs are set up for success in 2021. First, the field must make its voice heard that the final FY 2021 appropriations bill include at a minimum the House proposed $13 million increase to the 21st CCLC program. Second, the field must make sure Congress knows that the next COVID relief package must include supplemental funding specifically for 21st CCLC. The CARES Act, which was signed into law last March, included several funding streams which afterschool advocates have been able to access (Education Stabilization Fund, Governors’ Emergency Fund, CCDBG supplemental funds, and some state and local relief funds). But, no dedicated funds for 21st CCLC have been provided in COVID relief packages, despite all the data that show 21st CCLC providers are critical supports in the midst of COVID. And third, we must continue to urge bipartisan support for the 21st CCLC Coronavirus Relief Act, legislation introduced by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Min..) to provide programs with the flexibility and funding (an additional $1.2 billion) they need to operate at this time.
You can help make the case here.
In late April, President Joe Biden released the American Families Plan, the second part of an overall infrastructure proposal and a complementary piece to the American Jobs Plan. Congress...
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released the State plan application that will support states in describing how they will use resources under the American Rescue Plan Elementary and...
Last week, a bi-partisan group of senators, led by Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced legislation to strengthen national service opportunities, particularly in...
Reach out to Congress and urge their support of the Summer Meals Act.
With summer right around the corner, members of Congress marked the occasion by introducing legislation that would greatly...
On April 9, the U.S. Department of Education released the second in its series of “handbooks” to help schools re-open and recover from the COVID pandemic. While the first handbook focused...
On April 9, the Biden administration released their preliminary (or “skinny”) FY 2022 discretionary budget request which includes topline appropriations levels for each agency as well as...
With the federal government working hard to get much needed relief funds to states, including for education to help stem some of the harshest effects of COVID, states as well recognize their essential role in recovery.
On February 9, Tennessee passed the Tennessee Learning Loss Remediation and...
BY: Jillian Luchner 02/18/21
This week, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the Education and Labor Committee’s portion of the FY21 budget reconciliation bill, which enacts President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. After a mark-up that began...
BY: Erik Peterson 02/10/21
The Learning Recovery Act of 2021 was introduced on January 28 in the House of Representatives as part of a three-bill package from the House Education and Labor Committee led by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.). The other two bills address school infrastructure needs and saving education jobs....
BY: Erik Peterson 02/01/21
On Thursday, January 15, President-elect Biden proposed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package called the American Rescue Plan which is described as “…the first step of an aggressive, two-step plan” to “change the course of the pandemic, build a bridge towards economic...
BY: Erik Peterson 01/20/21
When the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act passed Congress and was signed into law in late December, the clock started ticking on a number of potential funding opportunities that can be used at the state and local level to support afterschool and summer...
BY: Erik Peterson 01/14/21
After almost a week of lengthy negotiations concluded on Sunday evening, December 20, the House and Senate approved final text on Monday night for the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill and a new COVID-19 relief bill. This package differs from the one unveiled last Monday by a group of bipartisan...
BY: Erik Peterson 12/22/20
This Friday, December 18, 2020, is the new deadline for Congress to pass a FY 2021 spending bill (or another short-term continuing resolution) to ensure the federal government continues to operate. To meet that deadline, both House and Senate leadership are convening this week in an effort to build...
BY: Erik Peterson 12/16/20
On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their twelve Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) spending bills. The government is currently being funded under a continuing resolution (CR) that expires on Dec. 11. A spending deal must be reached by that date to avoid a government...
BY: Jillian Luchner 11/12/20
On October 26, 2020, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced S. 4868, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020, which is designed to expand access to supervised learning for students through the remainder of the...
BY: Erik Peterson 10/27/20
On Friday, September 18, the Department of Education put forth the waiver request form for the 21st Century Community Learn Center program to operate during non-school hours as a follow up to the earlier notice in the Federal Register. This allows states to begin the application process...
BY: Jillian Luchner 09/30/20
On December 31, 2020, S 2683, the Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2020 was signed into law. The bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this session by Sens. Burr (R-N.C.) and Van Hollen (D-Md.) establishes a task force to assist states in the process of implementing background check...
BY: Erik Peterson 01/04/21
This week U.S. President-elect Joe Biden selected Connecticut education commissioner Miguel Cardona to serve as secretary of education. Commissioner Cardona is a former fourth-grade public school teacher who became the youngest principal in Connecticut and, later, an assistant superintendent of...
BY: Erik Peterson 12/23/20
For community school adherents, school has always had a central function as a hub of integrated student supports. The COVID health emergency has not only impacted how, where, and when education is delivered but also reinforced the idea of schools as a conduit for children and families to other...
BY: Jillian Luchner 11/10/20
Photo by Dan Dennis on Unsplash
As of the afternoon of November 6, there was yet to be a definitive result in the 2020 US election at the Presidential, Senate, or House levels. One clear conclusion, however, is that while there are deep divisions in the electorate and in the political system,...
BY: Erik Peterson 11/06/20
With October knocking on the door and the 2020 federal fiscal year winding down, legislative activity in Congress has heated up again. In particular it is a good time for an update on the appropriations process for federal fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) as well as an update on the status of a possible...
BY: Erik Peterson 09/29/20
On September 23, the Afterschool Alliance hosted a virtual Hill briefing, Supporting our Youth throughout COVID-19 and Beyond: Why Afterschool Providers are More Essential than Ever, that focused on the important role afterschool providers play during these unprecedented times. The brief featured...
BY: Bella DiMarco 09/25/20
Just after noon on Sep. 16, the House of Representatives unanimously approved HR 8162, the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. The legislation provides much needed flexibility for the current 2020-2021 school year, allowing local afterschool programs...
BY: Erik Peterson 09/16/20
Today, in a move the afterschool community welcomes, U.S. Representative Susan Wild (D-PA) along with Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Dwight Evans (D-PA), and Don Young (R-AK) introduced the bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers...
BY: Erik Peterson 09/04/20
This morning (Sept. 3, 2020) the U.S. Department of Education(ED) posted a notice in the Federal Register on their intent to offer a waiver to allow State Education Agencies (SEAs) to waive the definition of Community Learning Center(s) for implementation of services during “non-school...
BY: Erik Peterson 09/03/20
As we move into the second half of August we wanted to give you an update on the status of Covid-19 relief legislation negotiations in Washington, DC. The hope was that by this time, with many school districts starting to return for the new school year, a new COVID-19 relief bill would have already...
BY: Erik Peterson 08/19/20
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb along with unemployment claims, pressure has continued to build for the Senate to take up another COVID-19 relief and response bill. Last week, the White House and the Secretary of Education mounted a public relations campaign calling for all...
BY: Erik Peterson 07/14/20
This week the House of Representatives officially began the FY 2021 appropriations process with multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On the evening of July 7 the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY 2021 spending...
BY: Erik Peterson 07/08/20
“Educators, this is a great day for y’all.” – President Elect Joe Biden, November 7, 2020
When President-elect Joe Biden spoke to the nation on Saturday November 7, he specifically pointed to his commitment to the field of education, giving credit to his wife, Dr. Jill...
BY: Jillian Luchner 11/19/20
A month ago the president released his FY 2021 budget proposal, officially kicking off the appropriations process in Washington, D.C. Since then the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee and Subcommittees have been soliciting spending priorities from members of Congress and the public,...
BY: Erik Peterson 03/10/20
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...
BY: Erik Peterson 02/13/20
On a rainy Monday in Washington, the Trump administration released its fiscal year 2021 full budget proposal. The full budget represents the president’s vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2020 (FY 2021) and, for the fourth...
BY: Erik Peterson 02/10/20
House and Senate appropriators reached an agreement on final subcommittee allocations to avert a shutdown and fund the government past the December 20 deadline. The final bi-partisan bill language specifying funding levels for all government programs provides $1.25 billion for...
BY: Erik Peterson 12/17/19
With the 2020 presidential election 16 months away, more than 25 politicians and business leaders have declared themselves candidates. The first round of debates for Democratic candidates has already happened, most candidates are in full time campaign mode, and the first primaries and caucuses are...
BY: Erik Peterson 07/26/19
Update: On May 8, the full House Appropriations Committee voted to approve the FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act by a party line vote of 30 to 23, sending the bill on to the House floor. The approved bill included several changes...
BY: Erik Peterson 05/01/19
Labor Day has passed and schools are beginning in one form or another all over the U.S. The Afterschool Alliance completed a scan of state school reopening plans identifying where plans see a role for afterschool partners in our new brief, A Review of State Plans for Re-opening: How to Maximize...
BY: Jillian Luchner 09/17/20
This Monday, July 27, Senate Republican leadership is expected to release their long-awaited CARES 2 legislative package to provide another round of federal COVID-19 recovery and relief funding and support. While an outline of the bill suggested it will include $15 billion for child care programs...
BY: Erik Peterson 07/24/20
Economic recovery cannot happen without child care, including quality, comprehensive care for school-age children of working parents. If the concern has not already impacted you directly, you may have become aware from the news stories which keep flooding in.
“Will Child Care Be There...
BY: Jillian Luchner 05/12/20
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.
As governors, state agencies, and school districts across the U.S. grapple with school closure decisions, the afterschool programs that provide out-of-school time academic support and the child care working parents need are also finding their...
BY: Jillian Luchner 03/24/20
Today, less than half of New York City public schools offer free city funded afterschool programs. City Councilman Ben Kallos, joined by parents and afterschool advocates, aims to change that.
Last week, the New York City Council held a hearing to discuss bill 1100 introduced by Councilman...
BY: Chandler Hall 01/30/20
In his State of the State address to the Vermont legislature on January 9, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) outlined his 2020 legislative agenda, including a proposal to make K-12 afterschool programming more accessible to Vermonters through implementation of universal afterschool. In the speech, the...
BY: Erik Peterson 01/28/20
State legislatures have been busy this year envisioning new ways to support their constituents and respond to large cultural, social, and financial shifts. Most state budgets were signed by early summer and they, along with other legislative initiatives, show how states are investing in youth...
BY: Jillian Luchner 12/03/19
It’s been more than a year since the bipartisan passage of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act of 2018 (Perkins V), which reauthorized and updated the federal Perkins CTE law in place since 2006.
Afterschool programs can be a great partner as states...
BY: Jillian Luchner 09/30/19