Sign On to Save After School
We support ASES programs and urge the State of California to provide additional funding for ASES.
California's After School Education and Safety (ASES) program supports over 4,000 elementary and middle schools offering afterschool and summer programs to more than 400,000 students daily.
Afterschool programs are essential to closing the achievement and opportunity gap. These programs are key partners for schools and families, providing underserved students with meaningful academic and enrichment activities, keeping kids safely off the streets during the prime time for juvenile crime, and offering necessary child care for working parents.
While the costs, demands, and expectations of ASES programs have consistently increased, the total funding and $7.50 per student daily rate have remained stagnant for a decade. As costs significantly outpace funding, ASES programs have been stretched to their breaking point. Currently, programs find it increasingly difficult to provide high-quality programming and risk being forced to close their doors altogether.
We/I support ASES programs and urge the State of California to provide additional funding for ASES.
Legislature & Governor Stall Efforts to Save After School
On behalf of the nearly half a million children and families who rely on the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program, we are both disappointed and disheartened by the Governor and the Legislature’s unwillingness to act in any way this year to save these critical programs. During the legislative session, we fought for a modest $1 a day increase to the painfully low $7.50 per child per day the state provides for after school programs in over 4,000 schools across the state. This proposal sought to offset the decade of flat funding threatening program quality, access, and closures across the state (2016 statewide survey found nearly 1/3 of providers could likely shut down in the next two years).
Our budget request, while getting traction in the Assembly (but not the Senate), did not make it into either the proposed or final budgets. We then proposed cost-neutral legislation to provide some financial relief to ASES programs that died in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Governor’s office and Legislature talk about prioritizing educational equity, yet their apathy with respect to the ASES crisis ignores the fact that kids spend significantly more time out of school than in. Yet, our leaders are unwilling to invest $73 million (1/10 of 1 percent of the Proposition 98 budget) or ease any operating requirements so hundreds of thousands of low-income students can enjoy the same learning and enrichment opportunities that middle and upper income students receive as a matter of course. Where is the equity focus in this decision? It’s starkly missing.
We secured nearly 2,000 supporters for an ASES rate increase including parents, community-based organizations, school districts, law enforcement leaders, and others, but these voices were not heard or valued by key legislative lawmakers or the Governor. These leaders have failed to understand the implications of their inaction, and in the coming year, will witness what is only the beginning of the decimation of California’s decades-long and nationally-recognized investment in after school programs.
We thank each and every supporter of the Save Afterschool Campaign for all the time and energy you gave this year; we have gained momentum and strength that we will build upon as we continue to work towards solutions for this crisis. We hope that California’s top lawmakers and the Governor will join us before more damage is done. In the coming weeks, we will be sending along several actions you can take to both hold our public officials accountable and educate leaders on how essential these programs are to students and families across California.