21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Update:
April 15, 2019
The future of the 21st CCLC program has been threatened again. For the third year in a row, President Trump’s FY20 budget proposal eliminates all funds towards the program. This leaves nearly 60,000 New York kids and 1.7 million children nationwide at risk of losing their afterschool programs. Thanks to advocates and champions across the country, the US House and Senate, in strong bipartisan support, restored and increased funding for the program by $10 million in the FY19 budget. This year, the fight to save the 21st CCLC program continues.
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is the only federal funding stream dedicated to afterschool, summer, and expanded learning opportunities. In federal FY2019, $1.2 billion was appropriated for 21st CCLC, with New York receiving $91 million. The funding currently supports 60,000 students and families by providing them with high-quality afterschool, summer, and expanded learning experiences.
New York’s most recent 21st CCLC grant competition in 2016 received 514 applications, requesting more than $277 million–but only 138 were funded. More funding is needed for 21st CCLC to meet the demand in New York State and across the country. A 2014 survey found that 1.1 million students in New York want an afterschool program but do not have one available. Also, with the parents of more than 19 million students nationwide wanting access to afterschool programs, there is a need for additional support to programs, not less.
The Trump White House attempts to justify the elimination of 21st CCLC in the budget proposal by claiming that doing so would reduce waste, thus reiterating the inaccurate claim that these programs lack strong evidence of their effectiveness. However, over ten years of data and evaluations provide compelling evidence that 21st CCLC afterschool programs yield positive outcomes for participating children in academics, behavior,school day attendance, and more.
Losing 21st Century funding will only increase the number of children missing out on opportunities for afterschool and summer learning—as well as the number whose safety is at risk because they have to go home alone. The research proves that afterschool works. The message is clear that Americans support afterschool and summer learning programs.