A bipartisan-sponsored bill was introduced today in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize federal funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program, which provides formula grants to states for community
organizations and schools to operate after-school and other expanded learning opportunities for children.
The bill was sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.). In 2012, 1.6 million students were served by programs with CCLC underwriting, appropriated at $1.2 billion.
"This bipartisan legislation will expand access to high-quality after-school programs so that our kids have a safe and enriching environment from 3 to 6 p.m.," said Boxer in a press release. "When the school bell rings, too many of our children go home to empty houses because their parents work and cannot afford after-school care."
As many of you know, the 21st-CCLC funding stream has been a sore spot for folks in both the after-school and expanded learning time communities, who disagree over whether the funds should focus on paying for after-school programs or provide resources for schools that lengthen the day.