FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2015
Contact: Zachary Coile 202-224-8120
Legislation Modernizes and Protects Funding for Afterschool Programs that Benefit More Than 1 Million Children Each Year
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Afterschool Caucus, today praised the final passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which included provisions to modernize afterschool programs nationwide and protects federal investments that help more than 1 million children attend these programs each year. The measure now goes to President Obama for his signature.
“This legislation preserves a dedicated funding stream for afterschool programs so that more than 1 million children will continue to have a safe, enriching place to go when the school day ends,” Senator Boxer said. “The bill also helps states support high-quality afterschool programs, encourages parental engagement and ensures that afterschool activities complement the academic curriculum.”
Afterschool programs are a major priority for Senator Boxer, who authored the first major federal investment in afterschool programs. Boxer has fought for years to preserve the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and she will keep fighting for increased funding in appropriations so that children can continue to benefit from high-quality afterschool programs.
In April, the HELP Committee approved an amendment based on legislation Boxer introduced with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to reauthorize and strengthen the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. The language, which was included in ESSA, will not only protect federal investments in the program, but will also strengthen school-community partnerships, support parental involvement, provide more funding for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and add new accountability measures.
The Every Student Succeeds Act reauthorizes the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program through Fiscal Year 2020.
In July, Senator Boxer spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of preserving federal investments in afterschool programs. The full text can be read here.