After School Funding Bill Clears Senate

SB 78 Supported by Dozens of School, Community, Law Enforcement Groups

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO – With bipartisan support, the California State Senate today approved legislation authored by Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) that finally increases funding for California’s statewide after school program, which has not received an augmentation for over a decade.

Sponsored by the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance and supported by dozens of community organizations, school districts, educational advocacy groups and local municipalities, SB 78 would state the intent of the Legislature to increase funding for the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program—the main after school funding mechanism in California—to cover the cost of minimum wage increases. Beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year and each fiscal year after that, funding would increase simultaneously with minimum wage increases to ensure that programs remain solvent.

“After not receiving an increase for over a decade, SB 78 will finally offer California’s main after school funding mechanism a long overdue jolt of financial support so that these successful after school programs can continue to serve students for many years to come,” Senator Leyva said.  “We cannot risk these important after school programs closing their doors on thousands of students across California that rely on these services to succeed in school and stay out of trouble.  California must continue to invest in our future generations by supporting programs like ASES that serve our communities and working families.  I thank my Senate colleagues for supporting SB 78 today so that 120,000 students are not at risk of losing access to after school programs in counties up and down the state.”

Research shows that after school programs provide a variety of benefits to students including: improved school attendance, English fluency, academic success, crime prevention, and social-emotional skill development. These programs are cost effective and provide a return of $2 to $9 dollars for every $1 invested.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has previously offered strong support for California’s after school programs.

"After school programs are essential to public safety, because they keep kids supervised and off the streets in the short term and on track to graduate from high school in the long run," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos. "On behalf of 400 law enforcement and crime survivor members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids / California, I applaud Senator Leyva's commitment to sustaining high-quality after school programs and proudly support SB 78."

Approved by voters in 2002, Proposition 49 established the ASES program and provided ongoing funding of $550 million per year for before and after school programs. Funding for ASES programs has not increased in over ten years, while minimum wage increases and state mandated paid sick leave have raised operating costs. Meanwhile, the Average Daily Attendance rate for ASES of $7.50 per child has not increased since 2006.  After school programs have reduced their hours and cut academic activities in order to adjust to these cost pressures.

As SB 78 passed from the State Senate today, it will next proceed to the State Assembly for consideration.