Afterschool and Out-of-School Programs Woefully Underfunded

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Article Author: State Senator Brendan Crighton
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Article Date: 10/23/2018
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A release from the office of State Senator Brendan Crighton:

The Legislature’s Afterschool and Out-of-School Time (ASOST) Coordinating Council has found that years of underfunding have left too many Massachusetts children without access to the afterschool and summer learning programs that would help them reach their fullest potential. In a comprehensive report, Recommendations of the Afterschool and Out-Of-School Time Coordinating Council: A Report on the Importance of Afterschool and Summer Learning, the Council recommends finding new funding streams to

increase investment in quality programs and staff – including tapping revenue from the sale of recreational cannabis – and creating tax incentives for businesses that invest in these programs.

In addition to funding, the Council draws upon the latest research to offer recommendations to tackle issues most afterschool and summer learning programs face today. Included among these: leveraging local partnerships to develop and share best practices and data among stakeholders, strengthening and better aligning state oversight and policy development, and creating an Afterschool Caucus in the Legislature as well as a new position in the Executive Office of Education to coordinate the myriad programs.

 While Massachusetts consistently leads the country in supporting the well-being and educational success of its children, the report finds most students lack afterschool opportunities even though many would enroll if such opportunities were available. According to an Afterschool Alliance survey, 196,562 students are enrolled in afterschool programs but an additional 213,966 are unsupervised during afterschool hours. In total, 362,312 students (44 percent of all students in the Commonwealth) — would sign up for an afterschool program if they had the option.
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