After-school program supporters are signing a joint letter asking the Ohio Department of Education to reconsider funding new 21st Century Learning Community Centers next year. The Ohio Afterschool Network (OAN), a nonprofit network representing hundreds of after-school programs and the state affiliate of the National Afterschool Association, is circulating the letter, along with a fact sheet for supporters to share with their constituents.
The letter asks Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria to reexamine the decision not to fund any new programs through federal 21st Century Learning Community Program funds Ohio receives this year. Review the full letter here. To include your signature, email OAN Director Nichelle Harris.
The information gathered by the OAN is compelling. Consider:
- Currently Ohio has 276 21st Century Community Learning Center grant funded programs.
- 134 of those grants â€“ nearly half – will expire on June 30, 2017.
- Ohioâ€™s 21st CCLC programs currently serve 43,205 students. Half will be without a program.
- 419 communities in Ohio are currently served by 21st CCLC Programs.
THE DEMAND IS OVERWHELMINGâ€¦
- In FY17, ODE received over 200 21st CCLC grant applications: only 26 applications were funded (13%).
- Another 846,248 Ohio students say they would participate in an afterschool program if it was available.
- At this time, Ohio is currently under-serving the increasing demand for Afterschool programs by 53%. Eliminating even one program that could be continued would not be in the best interest of Ohioâ€™s students or families and will impact Ohioâ€™s future workforce.
OPPORTUNITIES WILL BE LOSTâ€¦
- Over 20,000 students will be dropped from high quality, academically-focused Afterschool programs.
- Strategic and collaborative community partnerships, highly encouraged by new ESSA policy, between 21st CCLC programs, school districts and community based organizations will come to a grinding halt.
- Over 250 school districts that depend on 21st CCLC programs to help support the work of teachers, will find themselves with no programs nor staff to help reinforce academic concepts after school.
- An estimated 1200 jobs will be lost, as 21st CCLC program employees, plus the employees of non-profit Community Based Organizations that support these programs, will be laid off and unemployed.
WHAT YOU CAN DOâ€¦
- SIGN ON TO THE OAN LETTER â€“ add your organizationâ€™s support in asking Superintendent DeMaria to reverse this decision and continue the 21st CCLC Funding in FY18.
- SHARE THE OAN 1 PAGER â€“ Forward this document, post it at your programs, give copies to your school district leadership.
- ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS â€“ talk to parents, community partners, school district leadership, municipal leaders, colleagues and friends â€“ gather their support and commitment to lend their voice. In the upcoming weeks OAN will release templates for letters that stakeholders can send, reinforcing continuing to fund 21st CCLC programs in Ohio.
DONâ€™T WAIT – The time to act is now.
Print the Fact Sheet and then share it with your constituents
Review the Letter and then sign on by emailing Nichelle Harris