Expanded learning programs provide high-quality, academically oriented services to students before school, after school, and during the summer and holiday breaks. These programs help expand students’ learning experiences, which allows them the opportunity to utilize the skills and concepts acquired during the school day in unique and meaningful ways. Programs also provide students with a safe and supervised environment, nutrition and physical activity which all lead to improved academic performance, school attendance, and behavior and health.
California makes the largest investment in expanded learning programs in the nation with over 4,400 programs serving over 420,000 children and youth and most programs are state- funded through the AfterSchool Education and Safety (ASES) program, with additional funding through the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, $541,750,000 is available for grants.
AB 1879 would require school district governing boards to also consult with local expanded learning program representatives. California makes a large investment in expanded learning programs and we should provide increased opportunities for school districts and expanded learning programs to collaborate and ensure that they are taken into consideration when developing and updating district plans.