National Update

Visit the Afterschool Alliance site for details on federal policy updates:

middle-school-groupThe Alliance will provide you with more information on the following:

Afterschool & the Economic Recovery Act.  An economic recovery bill passed by the U.S. Congress includes many potential opportunities–upwards of $1 billion–that could support afterschool programs and efforts. Learn about the bill’s contents and what needs to occur to make sure afterschool is eligible for these funds.

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). The only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs.  Learn about its funding history, program outcomes and the types of programs supported by this initiative.

Current Federal Afterschool Legislation. In addition to all House and Senate bills currently under consideration that include an afterschool element, this Web page provides links to full bill text, summaries and bill co-sponsorship information.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The law authorizing education programs, including 21st CCLC, Supplemental Education Services (SES) and other initiatives that support afterschool programs. In the coming years, Congress will reauthorize ESEA, formerly No Child Left Behind (NCLB), meaning that the goals and suggested funding levels of these efforts are undergoing review for changes. The Afterschool Alliance has developed recommendations for changes in the law to better support afterschool programs.

Older Youth and Afterschool: Partnering to Improve Results. As the nation struggles to improve high school achievement and prepare the next generation for college and the 21st century workforce, it is clear that working with older youth in the middle grades is critical. More time is often needed to ensure that students are prepared during these transition years for long-term success.

Afterschool in Rural Communities: The Investment in Afterschool Programs Act. From transportation to lack of community resources to hunger, there are very specific needs that require consideration by organizations serving children in rural America. Afterschool programs are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of young people in rural communities. The Afterschool Alliance is working with Congress to create a funding stream specifically for afterschool programs in rural communities.

cvaf 32Active Hours Afterschool. Provides tools and information about afterschool and healthy lifestyles, including local wellness policies and partnership opportunities. Programs can play an important role in promoting health, from physical activity to healthy snacks, and are therefore well-positioned as key partners in health initiatives.

Youth Promises Act. In 2009, the House Judiciary Committee reported  Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act, referred to as the Youth PROMISE Act favorably to the House of Representatives. The Youth PROMISE Act provides federal resources to implement evidence- and research-based strategies to reduce gang violence and juvenile crime at the local level.  It is supported by a bi-partisan coalition of 232 House members and almost 250 national and state juvenile justice, civil rights, education and religious organizations. The bill offers opportunities for afterschool program providers to partner with local government agencies to provide services for young people during the hours of 3 p.m – 6 p.m. as well as on weekends and during the summer. The bill will next be considered by the House Education and Labor Committee, which shares jurisdiction over the legislation with the Judiciary Committee.

ASPIRE Act. The Afterschool Partnerships Improve Results in Education (ASPIRE) bill, S. 2785, would provide dedicated grant funding for quality afterschool programs that serve older youth at the middle and high school levels. As the nation struggles to improve high school achievement and prepare the next generation for college and the 21st century workforce, it is clear that a focus on older students during these transition years is critical for long-term success. Quality afterschool programs designed specifically for older youth can make a difference in keeping students engaged in the learning process.  Unfortunately, communities across the country were forced to make difficult choices with limited funding for afterschool programs, leaving older youth with fewer options.