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Tough Sledding for After-School Funding on Capitol Hill

The big story on after-school programs right now is the federal budget, and all indications are that it's going to be tough sledding on Capitol Hill.

On the Politics K-12 blog, my colleague Alyson Klein reported yesterday on the House's passage of a bill that would keep the federal government running for two more weeks while also cutting $4 billion in spending in the current year's budget. The Senate is expected to pass the measure, as well. She writes:

"The measure also includes significant cuts to education programs that would extend beyond the two-week period, including entirely scrapping the $250 million Striving Readers program, the $88 million Small Learning Communities Program, and the $66 million Even Start program."

I highlight this since Even Start supports family literacy projects, which I see as part of the "Beyond School" world. Reading is Fundamental would also see its funding cut in the measure.

The Afterschool Alliance highlighted the federal spending bill last month, calling for after-school advocates to contact Congress, both about the continuing resolution bill designed to keep the government open and fiscal 2011 funds flowing and next year's fiscal 2012 budget. A GOP plan would cut $100 million from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program in fiscal 2012. President Obama's spending package would add $100 million to the centers initiative.

"Now is the time to make the case for support and funding of school- and community-based before-school, after-school and summer learning programs that inspire learning, keep kids safe and help working families. Encourage your members of Congress to visit after-school programs, talk to them about after-school, and send an email today in support of after-school programs," the Alliance says.

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