FY 2011 Budget Cuts 21st CCLC Program by $12.3 million
On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed into law the FY 2011 budget, which included across-the-board 0.2% cuts to education programs, including the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which reduced 21st CCLC funding by $2.3 million. The Department of Education had discretion to impose additional cuts in order to implement overall reductions to the Department’s budget, and on May 16, 2011, announced that 21st CCLC would face an additional $10 million cut, for an overall cut of $12.3 million, to a total for FY 2011 of $1,153,866.
Due to a change in application of the funding formula, California actually received an approximately $6.7 million increase in annual funding compared to FY 2010, to approximately $134.1 million.
In February 2011, House Republicans proposed cutting $100 million in federal funding for after-school programs from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, as part of an omnibus budget bill for current FY 2011. Currently, the latest in a series of “continuing resolutions” has extended fiscal year 2010 budget levels through April 8, 2011.
In December, 2010, a Senate proposal to increase 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) funding and add expanded learning time as an allowable use was sidetracked, after there was not enough support in the Senate in mid-December to advance an omnibus spending bill that, among other things, would have increased funding for 21st CCLC by $135 million while also opening up 21st CCLC funding to extended learning programs that include school-community partnerships. Instead, both the House and Senate passed a “continuing resolution” that extended the fiscal year 2010 budget through March 4, 2011. That means the federal budget for the year that ended on September 30, 2010, will remain in place at least until next March. The new Congress will decide whether to extend it further, or adopt a new budget for the second half of fiscal year 2011. As a result, through March 4, 21st CCLC will continue to be funded at last year’s level of $1.16 billion without any statutory language added to include extended learning time as an allowable use.
On December 15, 2010, the U.S. Senate leadership introduced the FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which (1) calls for increasing 21st CCLC funds by $135 million; (2) expands usage of 21st CCLC funds to include expanded learning time; and (3) specifies that (a) grantees must have school-community partnerships, and (b) one approach (expanded learning time or after school) is not to be given federal or state preference over the other. This omnibus measure will be considered on the Senate floor, potentially starting on December 16. Relevant language on (2) and (3) includes:
“That State educational agencies may subgrant funds available under part B of title IV of the ESEA for expanded-learning-time programs that significantly increase the number of hours in a regular school schedule and comprehensively redesign the school schedule:
Provided further, That such expanded-learning-time programs shall provide additional learning time in the core academic and other subjects, and include enrichment activities:
Provided further, That such after-school or expanded-learning-time programs shall include strong partnerships between schools and community partners:
Provided further, That in implementing the program under part B of title IV of the ESEA, State educational agencies and the United States Department of Education shall not give priority or preference regarding the choice to use funds for expanded-learning-time or after-school programs”
In July 2010, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies voted to increase 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) funding by $100 million to a total of $1.266 billion. The Senate Subcommittee also voted for a significant policy change to allow 21st CCLC funding to be used for extended learning time, as well as after-school programs. Earlier in July, the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to increase 21st CCLC funding by $35 million, without providing that funds could be used for extended learning time. The Appropriations bills will next be considered in the full Appropriations Committees.
On Feb. 1, 2010 the Obama Administration released its proposed FY 2011 Budget. The budget calls for level funding of the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative at $1.16B, but it also combines the 21st CCLC funding stream with the Full Service Community Schools program and changes the nature of the grant process, resulting in a loss of $13 million—and potentially more—from funding for 21st CCLC after school, before school, and summer programs. The text of the President’s budget states (on page 64),”The initiative also reforms the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to focus funding on models that redesign and extend the school day, week, or year.” Language in the budget proposal is consistent with this statement, more often referring to “extended day” language rather than “after school.” The proposed budget also contains an overall increase for Education spending in 2011, and includes an increase for the Child Development Block Grant, and funds a new STEM initiative. The California Afterschool Network is monitoring the Federal budget process closely and will inform the field as new information arises.