March 22, 2017
Protect the Empire State After-school Program
Thursday, March 23rd is an After-school Day of Action to urge State leaders to include the Governor’s proposed after-school expansion in the final state budget. Please call elected leaders between 10 AM and 11 AM using this call script and then use social media from 11 AM to Noon to draw more attention to this issue using these sample tweets/posts.
Governor Cuomo proposed adding $35 million to create 22,000 new after-school care slots in a new Empire State After-School program. This program would be targeted to high-needs and low-income counties across New York, recognizing the unique power of after-school care to aid families’ financial opportunities in addition to supporting students’ education and well-being. The Assembly included the $35 million into their one-house Budget, but the Senate Majority did not. The Governor, Assembly, and Senate are in the final days of budget negotiations, so they need to hear from you!
In addition, as you may have heard, President Trump’s Budget proposes to eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, which provides an estimated 60,000 New York students with after-school and summer programs. This would have a devastating impact and makes it even more critical that the state expand its commitment to after-school programs.
It is important that people like you – parents, community members, and advocates – make your voices heard to ensure this new after-school program is in the final budget.
A recent survey and report found that over 1.1 million children in New York lack access to an after-school program yet would participate if they could. It also found that over 584,000 students in New York are left unsupervised after the school day ends. Research shows that the after-school hours are important for a student’s education, behavior, and whether they may become justice-involved. After-school programs have been found to improve school attendance, school behavior, test scores, graduation rates, and decreases justice-involvement, and it also allows parents to work instead of missing work to watch their children, arranging or paying for supervision, or leaving their children unsupervised.
So, please join us in a Day of Action on Thursday, March 23rd! Make sure the Governor, Assembly, and Senate know that you support adding $35 million so that 22,000 children can participate in after-school programs.
For more background information on after-school programming and the need to serve more children, pleease see the America After 3PM Special Report: Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty, available here.