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21st Century Community Learning Centers Funding Expands in Federal Spending Bill

In fear that afterschool programs and summer camps would be cut in the recent 2018 budget, educators can now take a deep breath.

The Trump administration has previously proposed defunding 21st Century Community Learning Centers, stating that the Centers lacked strong evidence of meeting its objectives.  Supporters of afterschool disputed this statement, saying that afterschool programs improve students’ academic skills, increase school attendance and provide a safe environment once the bell strikes 3:00pm.

The 21st Century Centers were funded, though, as the House passed a 2018 budget that funds the 21st Century Centers at an additional $20 million above the FY2017 level. This increases the available funding to $1.21 billion, so low-income students can continue to receive homework assistance, nutritious meals, and enriched activities.

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