A letter from OAN Director Nichelle Harris on Friday, March 23, 2018…

Good morning, OAN Members and Stakeholders –

I am beyond thrilled to announce that this afternoon the president signed a $1.3 trillion FY2018 omnibus spending bill which will fund the government through September 30, 2018 that includes 21st Century Community Learning Centers at $20 million over the FY2017 level, increasing available funding to $1.21 billion—a win for children, families, the country and for the state of Ohio.

This increase means the doors to quality local afterschool and summer learning programs will stay open for 1.6 million students and families across the US. Additionally, it will make programs available for 20,000 of the 19.4 million students currently waiting for access.

This funding was made possible by the continuous and tireless support of the Afterschool Alliance and all of our advocates around the country, including hundreds of you here in Ohio. THANK YOU to all the  friends of Afterschool who reached out to Congress with more than 103,000 calls and emails since January 2017, to those who energized supporters to turn out at town halls in their communities, and to those who prompted more than 600 local, state, and national organizations to sign a letter in support of Community Learning Centers sent to Congress last week. Champions of the program on Capitol Hill showed strong support for Community Learning Centers as well, with 111 members of the House coming together across party lines and signing a letter in support of the program earlier this week. A huge thank-you to all who worked so hard in support of Community Learning Center funds.

Other funding streams that can be used to support afterschool and summer learning programs were largely supported in the federal budget:
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $2.37 billion increase up to about $5.3 billion. About 45 percent of children served through CCDBG are provided with school-age afterschool care. This funding builds on the consistent funding increases in recent years to help states implement quality improvement reforms in the CCDBG Act of 2014 and will dramatically improve access to quality care for many families.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): AmeriCorps State and National Grants were funded at $412.010 million, an increase of $25 million. VISTA was funded at last year’s level of $92.364 million. AmeriCorps and VISTA positons are often used in support of afterschool programs.
  • Full Service Community Schools: $17.5 million, a $7.5 million increase over last year’s funding. FSCS grants support community schools and often leverage afterschool and summer learning supports.
  • Title I of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): $15.76 billion, a $300 million increase above FY2016. Title I funds can be used to support school district-provided afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Title II of ESSA: $2.056 billion, level with last year, had been proposed for elimination by President and in the House spending bill. Funds support effective instruction state grants, teacher/educator training and professional development.
  • Title IV Part A of ESSA, Student Support Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.1 billion which is a $700 million increase over fiscal year 2017, to make these flexible resources available to States, which can include assisting in protecting students and educators.  Afterschool STEM is an allowable use of the grants, as are physical education, community school coordinators, and a wide range of mental health supports and education technology.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): The legislation funds NSF at $7.8 billion–$300 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. NSF targets funding to programs that foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education. The Education and Human Resources division was funded at $902 million including $62.5 million for advancing informal STEM learning.
  • Youth Mentoring Initiative: $94 million increased by $14 million from FY2017. These grants funds support mentoring initiatives for young people in and out of school.
  • Perkins/Career Technical Education: Funded at $1.193 billion, an increase of $75 million, to support older youth career and workforce readiness education.
·         Opioid Abuse Treatment and Reduction – – $1 billion in new funding for grants to States and Indian tribes to address the opioid epidemic. – $476 million (+$350 million) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support increased opioid overdose surveillance and prevention activities at the national, state, and local level; – At least $500 million in research on opioid addiction supported by the National Institutes of Health; – $130 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response program, aimed to reach hard-hit rural America and target the unique issues associated with substance use disorder in rural areas.​
·         Child Protection Improvement Act – establishes a voluntary national criminal history background check system and criminal history review program for organizations that serve children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities, including afterschool programs.
What comes next?
Though Community Learning Centers will see increased funding in this year’s bill, our field must not stop speaking out. Earlier this week Education Secretary DeVos defended the President’s FY2019 proposal to eliminate afterschool funding erroneously claiming there was no evidence to support afterschool and summer learning. We need afterschool supporters to make your voices heard as Congress moves ahead with the FY2019 appropriations process, the second year of President Trump wanting to eliminate funding for afterschool and summer learning altogether. With your help, we will continue seeing wins like the one we are celebrating today for America’s kids and families.

Again, thank you to all of our Afterschool champions!

Kindest regards,

Nichelle Harris
Director, OAN


When the White House revealed the federal budget proposal, the $1.2 B that had previously been allocated to 21st Community Learning Center (CCLC) programs,was diverted to other sources… an action that will eliminate the program.

OMB Director Mitch Mulvaney said, in effect, that since there was no “demonstrative evidence” that Afterschool programs help kids that the program should not continue to be funded. watch video

Additionally, the Afterschool Alliance posted a blog recently featuring US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVoss, repeating those claims, stating that there is no research that shows that Afterschool programs achieve any goals.

But those of us in the field of Afterschool and Summer Learning beg to differ. Because we know that #afterschoolworks.

Afterschool works: the evidence

  • In Texas’ 21st CCLC programs, students with both low and high attendance levels were more likely to be promoted to the next grade. The longer students were in the program, the greater the impact reducing disciplinary incidents and school-day absences.
  • A statewide longitudinal evaluation of the After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) program—California’s high school component of the Community Learning Centers program—found that students participating in the ASSETs program received higher ELA and math assessment scores, and performed better on the ELA and math sections of the California High School Exit Examination than non-participants.
  • A statewide evaluation of Rhode Island’s 21st CCLC programs found that students participating in the program reported that they believed that the program helped them in academic and social/personal skill building.
  • Teachers of students participating in Wisconsin Community Learning Centers programs reported more than two-thirds improved their class participation, 60 percent saw improvements in their motivation to learn and 55 percent improved their behavior in class.


In our state OAN is working to raise the profile of Afterschool to let legislators know that Ohio’s families and youth depend on Afterschool programs to keep kids safe, help working families and inspire kids to learn.

To accomplish this goal the OAN Advocacy committee needs YOU to host a visit at your Afterschool program so that legislators can see fist hand why these programs are so needed in our state.

It’s going to take all of us working together, so start planning now!

Learn more about planning a legislative site visit here.

JOIN THE COMMITTEE CALLS – check the OAN calendar for the next day and time!


Afterschool Alliance’s Statement

The President Says Afterschool Doesn’t Work – That’s Not True

Arnold Schwarzenegger Stands up for America’s Youth at the Afterschool Summit

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