Wednesday, April 12, 2017

#DCFY18 Budget Advocacy: $10 million for Expanded Learning

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing talking points around the #DCFY18 Budget as it relates to our asks of Council and the Mayor for DCAYA’s key issue areas. We begin this week with Expanded Learning.

THE ASK: $5.1 million in additional funding to the Office of Out-of-School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes

Funding for out-of-school time (OST) in the Mayor's proposed budget was kept flat at $4.9 million, meaning we'll need to work collaboratively with Council to get to the full $10 million dollar investment we know is needed.

NOW: Why additional OST funding matters to youth, and why we believe it is a sound investment in FY18
  • Impact on Kids: Quality programs with a youth development focus show positive impacts on kids’ academic gains, participation in school, social and emotional development, and overall health, and research shows that the greatest gains from these outcomes are shown to be for youth who are considered “at risk” of academic failure due to poverty; declining funding means fewer of these outcomes for District youth.
  • Declining Funding and Access: Local funding for community-based OST programs has declined by 60% since 2010, resulting today in only a quarter of the locally-funded slots for community-based afterschool and summer learning that were there for kids just six years ago (from close to 10,000 in 2010 to under 2,500 in 2016). Much of this decline happened as funds were administered through the DC Trust, and reluctance to invest over the years has been understandable given the Trust’s mismanagement over that time period. 
  • New Youth Office, New Opportunity to Invest in Kids: With the Trust’s dissolution and the creation of the new Youth Office, we have a structure for OST to be led with accountability and authority; the Commission offers community-based governance and strong potential for cross-sector and family and youth collaboration, and an in-government entity can better ensure access to student-level data to yield shared, measurable outcomes.
  • Turning the Trend: We see an opportunity ahead in FY2018 to scale up locally-funded afterschool programs in the District to better meet the OST needs of youth and their communities. We are convinced the time is right to inform and influence the re-creation of the youth development system here in the District with the strongest investment in expanded learning we’ve seen in years. This year, we support an initial $10 million dollar investment in expanded learning programs through the new Youth Office in the FY18 budget. This funding will support community-based OST providers to better meet the needs of some 6,000 additional children and youth.
  • Leading Locally in Face of Federal Threats: All of this will also serve to counter potential loss of federal funds; The proposed elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program (which provides before- and after-school enrichment, tutoring and other services) would mean $1.2 billion eliminated from the expanded learning space nationally; DC’s share of this federal funding in FY16 was approximately $6.3 million, with an FY17 allocation closer to $5 million.

HOW: Help advocate for OST funding in the #DCFY18 Budget
  • Please sign up to testify at the Budget Hearing for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 10 am in Room 123 of the John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • You can sign up to testify at this link or by calling the Committee on Education at 202-724-8061.

NEXT: Please check back here next week for more on our Youth Workforce Development and Disconnected Youth #DCFY18 budget asks, and the following week for Youth Homelessness.

And in case you missed it, check out our Actions for Budget Advocacy - Week 1 email.

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