After-School, Summer Learning Efforts at Budget Risk

In Education On

Four days a week, hundreds of children in eastern Pennsylvania get free tutoring, a hot meal, and even the chance to help build a doghouse, thanks to a federal grant for after-school and summer learning programs. Some of their parents get access to English-as-a-second-language and GED classes.

But President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018 seeks to slash the roughly $1.1 billion 21st Century Community Learning Center program that provides the bulk of the funding for the program and thousands of others like it. Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget has argued that the program doesn’t have much of an effect on student achievement.

But some advocates and educators beg to differ.

“It just makes my heart hurt. It impacts children’s lives immensely,” said Rachel Strucko, the director of the Leigh Carbon Community College’s Schools Homes in Education program, or SHINE after-school program. “You wonder what is going to happen between those crucial hours of 2 and 6 if there is no after school.”

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