« Madison District Considers Later School Start Times for Middle School Students | Main | Researchers Examine Impact of Florida Law Requiring Expanded School Day »

California Lawmakers Approve Budget Without Additional Funds for After School

| No comments

Advocates for after-school programs in California are disappointed by the state budget that lawmakers approved last week.

Under the nearly $171 billion spending plan, these programs will not receive any additional funds.

That means elementary schools will continue to receive grants of $112,500 annually through the state's After-School Education and Safety (ASES) program, and middle schools will receive $150,000. At both levels, schools are required to provide a 33 percent local match. These schools are reimbursed at the flat, daily rate of $7.50 per student. Advocates for these programs had been pushing for a $1 per student increase in the reimbursement rate.

"It was a very modest request given the scope and scale of the services we provide and the number of kids we serve on a daily basis," said Jessica Gunderson, the senior policy director at the Partnership for Children & Youth.

ASES programs serve more than 400,000 students a day. The daily reimbursement rate they operate under has been the same for nearly a decade, but costs continue to rise. California's minimum wage grew to $10 an hour this year and is set to increase to $15 an hour by 2022.

After-school providers had sought an additional $73 million to cover the costs of these minimum wage increases. And, while both chambers of the California legislature approved increased funding for the state's ASES program, those increases didn't survive lawmakers' negotiations with Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The budget that legislators approved was praised for including more money for K-12 education, but Gunderson said that early praise was shortsighted since after-school programs didn't receive additional dollars.

"We were disappointed that the governor failed to see that no matter what we do in our education system to level the playing field for the most underserved students in California it won't be effective if we're not providing learning opportunities during after-school and summer hours," said Gunderson. "We know students spend only about 20 percent of their time in school, and the other 80 percent is really the key driver in the opportunity and the achievement gap."

What Now?

Since additional state funding is off the table, Gunderson says after-school providers will look to solicit more local funds.

More than 670 after-school providers responded to a survey the Partnership for Children & Youth conducted this winter, and 29 percent of those getting state funds said they're likely to shut down in the next two years if the state doesn't give them more money to operate.  

Don't miss another Time and Learning post. Sign up here to get news alerts in your email inbox.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments