One of the policy/advocacy areas we are very engaged in and highly focused on is the White House budget, presented recently to Congress. It calls for 100% defunding of City Year and Corporation for National and Community Service (parent organization of VISTA, AmeriCorps & National Civilian Community Corps). Both of these organizations provide high school and post high workers to schools and community organizations—including many of our councils.
I encourage you to take a look at a poll released recently which found that American voters overwhelmingly oppose the proposed federal budget cuts to afterschool and summer learning programs.
Read the full article on the AfterSchool Alliance website for more feedback.
Of greatest concern to Camp Fire is the call for 100 percent elimination of funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CLLC). That is the federal budget line item that provides funding for community-based after school programs such as those provided by our councils. Why does this matter? Because 21st CCLC funds support before—afterschool programs serving the most vulnerable children in urban core schools across the country. Without those funds, many school districts will be forced to eliminate the programs and/or schools and councils will have to seek significant funding sources elsewhere.
I hope you will contact your Congressional offices and other key influencers. Until now, there has been strong bipartisan support for this funding. This should not ever become a partisan issue. Nor should any lawmaker question whether preparing kids for life right now is a high priority.
Am I on a soapbox on this one? You bet. I hope you are too.