The Return on Investment of Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs
The cost-effectiveness of high-quality afterschool programs, and the ultimate economic and social return on investment these programs provide to society are well documented. Afterschool and expanded learning opportunities—including before-school, summer learning, and expanded school day—provide crucial supplemental learning opportunities for K-12 students. By providing access to stimulating activities outside of the traditional classroom setting, afterschool and expanded learning opportunities increase school and community engagement, and teach students about the career opportunities that education can provide. These opportunities help to level the playing field for students from underserved communities, while also providing significant benefits for communities, businesses, and the nation as a whole.
Despite these benefits, afterschool programming has not consistently received adequate funding in New York. With the prevalence of competitive grant programs, afterschool and expanded learning opportunity programs often face fierce competition for funding, and struggle with long-term sustainability. In New York, 3 out of 4 qualified applications for state funding go unfunded each round due to such limited funding for these programs. At present, 1.1 million New York students are still waiting for access to an afterschool program.1