Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Out-of-School Time partners letter

DCAYA has drafted a joint letter to the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME and Council that we'd like to have as many of our members, OST providers and individual supporters as possible sign on to ahead of the markup. It lays out some core tenets that have emerged from discussions to date which are important to highlight for policy makers.

The letter reads as follows. And if we can include you/your organization as a signatory, click on the link toward the end of this post (and let us know how it should appear on the letter, e.g. your name/title, a board chair/ED's name, both names, or just the organization name):

November 17, 2016

Dear Deputy Mayor Niles, Chairman Grosso, and Members of the Committee on Education:

We wanted to thank you for the collaborative leadership you have shown in the months since the
announced dissolution of the DC Trust, most recently at the DC Council Committee on Education’s
October 31 hearing on Councilmember Grosso and Councilmember Nadeau’s proposed Office of
Youth Outcomes and Grants.

As a provider of community-based out-of-school time (OST) services in the District, we especially
appreciate that stakeholder partners have been at the table with policy makers, that all partners
are clearly focused on the present need in the community, and that efforts to forge a defined path
forward for funding OST have been balanced with the intention for a system that may evolve over
time. This is all reflected in how you have both made clear an intent to create a long-term strategic
plan informed by meaningful community input and inclusive participation.

We see areas of cohesion between both the Council’s and the DME’s proposed OST system
models, and as we move into this next phase, we see the following tenets as critical to the longterm
success of youth development in DC:

  1. Governed by a body with broad stakeholder representation, which has clear authority to create and approve a strategic plan informed through meaningful community input processes, and which is empowered to ensure the strategic plan is carried out as intended.
  2. Includes a strong executive leadership position with youth development expertise, and the staff, resources and authority necessary to span the multiple clusters, agencies and partners that are integral to holistic youth development. While accountable to the broad governing body for carrying out the long-term strategic plan, this position and staff should be housed in government with a distinct level of authority and transparency, subject to regular Council oversight for performance and budget.
  3. Is streamlined in all functions to minimize burden and opportunity costs put on providers and families, specifically A) for providers presently navigating numerous systems with varied requirements and processes in grant making, reporting, capacity building, and vetting/partnerships with government agencies; and, B) for families presently forced to navigate multiple systems to provide duplicative information and, in essence, “prove poverty” to access core youth development opportunities.

We are happy to discuss these with you further, and are confident that in the coming weeks our
continued collaboration will produce a legislative path forward which reflects the consensus of
policy makers, advocates, and the OST provider community and the children, youth and families
we serve.


[DCAYA Member/Partner Organizations – click here to email DCAYA and sign on!]

CC: Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Ward 1; Councilmember Brandon Todd, Ward 4;
Councilmember Charles Allen, Ward 6; Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Ward 7;
Councilmember Anita Bonds, DC at-large

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