Invest in Afterschool: FY 2019
Dear Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray; and Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

We, the local, state and national organizations listed below thank you for supporting 21st CCLC funding in fiscal year 2017 and in your fiscal year 2018 Committee bills. We call on your Committees to again reject the Administration’s fiscal year 2019 proposed elimination of 21st CCLC. In light of the recently passed bipartisan budget agreement, we respectfully request that the Labor-HHS-Ed bill be given a proportionate share of additional funding and that you provide $1.30 billion in funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program (Title IV Part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act) for both fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019 appropriations without negatively impacting other education programs..

As your Committees wrap up the fiscal year 2018 appropriations and begin work on fiscal year 2019 appropriations, we urge you to support this funding, which is a modest increase over the fiscal year 2017 level to meet growing demand for programs and increased costs. With additional funding, local school and community-based providers of afterschool and summer learning programs will be able to sustain quality programming for nearly 2 million children in high-need communities.

These federal formula grants to states enable communities to leverage local resources by providing seed grants for 3-5 years that support community partnerships among community-based organizations, faith-based partners, private industry, and school partners (public, private, and charters). They provide an infrastructure to bring in other resources to students including access to mentors, tutors, nutritious snacks and meals, and in some places medical, dental and mental health programs.

Between 2006 and 2010, these grants leveraged more than $1 billion in partner contributions.

While reflecting the needs of local communities, these programs expand student access to activities and services designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program, such as: hands on learning, physical activity, workforce development opportunities including gaining knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) including computer science, that underpin most modern jobs, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, the arts, and more. Students are learning to code, preparing themselves for in-demand jobs, the military, and the new economy, and learning to make the right choices during the ongoing opioid epidemic. Additionally, families of children served have access to their own programs in literacy and related educational development.

In every state and almost every Congressional district, 21st Century Community Learning Center funding supports afterschool and summer learning programs that offer locally based school and community solutions that keep children and teenagers safe offline and online, inspire young people to learn and grow, and give parents peace of mind.

Moreover, these programs represent smart federal investments. Return on investment reports from Minnesota, Vermont, Maryland, Oklahoma, and nationally have demonstrated that each dollar invested in afterschool programs saves up to $9 by increasing young people’s learning potential, improving student performance in school, and reducing juvenile crime. Quality afterschool programming prepares students for college and the workforce, as demonstrated through evaluation reports from 21st Century Community Learning Center programs across states:

o Texas: Students participating in Texas’ 21st CCLC afterschool programs, referred to as the Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE), were more likely to be promoted to the next grade. The longer students were in the program, the greater the impact reducing disciplinary incidents and school-day absences.
o California: A statewide longitudinal evaluation of the After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) program—California’s high school component of the 21st CCLC program—found that students participating in the ASSETs program performed better on the ELA and math sections of state tests than non-participants.

Students who regularly participate in 21st Century Community Learning Centers improve their school attendance, class participation and behavior, homework completion, and reading and math achievement scores and grades. The demand for afterschool programs continues to grow in communities of all types, including rural, urban and suburban communities. Nationally, for every student in a program, two more are waiting to get in.

Students spend 80% of their waking hours outside of school. Good policy means investing in programs that work to keep our students engaged after the traditional school day and year ends, when 11.3 million children are unsupervised and juvenile crime and risky behaviors peak. Afterschool and summer learning programs provide safe, engaging, and research-based solutions that work for students, families, communities, and the nation.

Thank you for supporting sustained funding for 21st CCLC in FY2018 and FY2019.


National, State and Local Organizations

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