CAN Newsletter – July 21, 2015


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State and Federal Policy Update
SB 645 (CA) and No Child Left Behind Reauthorization

State Policy Update: Senate Bill 645 Amendments

While the California Legislature recommended an increase to state After School Education and Safety (ASES) funding, the increase was ultimately not approved by Governor Jerry Brown in the final 2015-16 budget. Because this augmentation was not approved, amendments have been introduced to Senate Bill 645 (SB 645, Hancock) to relieve financial pressure for CA’s expanded learning programs. If passed, SB 645 would allow to take up to five paid furlough days during the school year in addition to the existing 3 staff development days. This flexibility would be voluntary and could provide cost relief for programs to avoid cuts to the quality of staffing and services.  In addition, SB 645 includes amendments to ensure current law is in line with existing practice in the following ways: 1) clarifying that programs may enroll, and count attendance for, middle school students who do not attend a minimum number of hours/days per week and, 2) allowing programs to continue to determine, based on local need, which grade levels will be served at each site.

Federal Policy Update: Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

The United States Senate recently passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177) to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The Senate reauthorization bill preserves dedicated funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). The 21st CCLC provision, included by bipartisan amendment in the Senate HELP Committee mark-up in mid-April was supported by Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The bipartisan bill as passed by the Senate also included language from Sen. Shaheen’s (D-NH) Supporting Afterschool STEM Act. The language included in Title II Part E, “Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Instruction and Student Achievement,” highlights the role that afterschool programs play in inspiring and preparing students to pursue STEM studies.

Meanwhile, the United States House of Representatives recently passed HR 5, the Student Success Act. The House version of ESEA reauthorization would eliminate the 21st CCLC program in favor of a block grant to states that could be used for a variety of purposes. Next, the House and Senate will work through conference committee to put forward a final version of ESEA reauthorization.

Learn how to contact your legislators to inform them of the importance of the 21st CCLC program.