Every year at the Challenge, we advocate to our legislators and communities about the importance of afterschool. This year, media outlets across California took notice as we demonstrated with our feet and our voices the importance of #SaveAfterschool.
President Trump’s budget for next year calls for cuts to after-school programs and that's why this large group gathered here in Sacramento today … in hopes the state can step in to help. Save After School says they marched to the Capitol with students and advocates fighting for the state after school programs at risk of losing federal funding in president trumps proposed budget.
“I just feel it’s unfair,” said Emily Cordero who came to Sacramento from the Los Angeles area. She says her after school art program kept her safe and focused. “It's a very gang related environment since I live in the projects and this program, ARC, has allowed me to spend more time and focus on school and things that interest me,” said Emily. “All these events and activities they’re providing us is giving people to bring out their personalities,” said Marcus Aguirre. Advocates are calling on the state to step in by setting aside $76 million dollars to save the programs under threat. “We’re really concerned because there could be no summer learning programs or no high school programs if we lost our federal dollars,” said Jessica Gunderson, CA After School Advocacy Alliance. Some lawmakers are fighting alongside students and advocates, determined to find a way to save the programs. Assemblyman Phil Ting: “We’ll find a way there, whether it’s through more city funding, state funding … these are programs that are critical to our families so we want to make sure we do everything possible to support it.” Advocates say 860- thousand students benefit from state after-school programs. Today, students from across the state also delivered thousands of letters, asking for state funding to keep the programs alive.
A rally in Sacramento urging Governor Brown to increase money on after-school programs. Child advocates say last year was the first time in ten years those programs received an increase in funding. Now, they're asking for an additional $76 million. They say the benefits of these programs for kids can't be ignored. Assemblyman Phil Ting: “If kids are in afterschool programs instead of on the streets. We know they learn better; they have higher test results and also long-term, they have a higher probability of going to college.” Lawmakers are optimistic the final state budget will have enough of a surplus to support after-school programs.
Child advocates from across the state rallied in Sacramento today. They're asking for an increase in spending for after school programs. They want $76-million dollars from the state budget. Lawmakers who support the increase say... the benefits that after school programs offer to kids and families can't be ignored. Asm. Phil Ting / D-San Francisco "If kids are in afterschool programs instead of on the streets well we know they learn better. They have higher results and also long-term, they have a higher probability of going to college." The final state budget is due to be released in one month.
Hundreds of students were at the Capitol today, rallying for funding for after school programs. Students joined after school providers from across the state, calling for more money. They say this is a safety issue, saying after school programs keep kids off the street, especially if their parents have to work late. Assemblyman Phil Ting: “Some families, they still work and the kids just go home and they are not supervised; they are not being watched and doing who knows what. This way, there is supervision; they might be doing homework or athletics.” President Trump has called for the elimination of federal funding for after school programs. Supporters of today's effort say that's why it's so important to secure funding through the state.
Community groups throughout the state are asking Governor Brown for more than double the amount of money spent on afterschool programs. Last year, Governor Brown approved a budget increase for those programs. Community groups say it was the first increase in ten years, but they only got a portion of what they need. Now they're asking for an additional $76-million and argue that the benefits can't be ignored.