(Sacramento, CA) - Assembly Bill 1725, Protecting After School Education & Safety Programs, by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), was approved by the Assembly on a vote of 60-0 today. This bill would increase funding for California’s After School Education & Safety (ASES) programs to ensure these programs stay open and serve the students and families who need them most.
“I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Assembly who voted to support the nearly half a million children who rely on afterschool programs every day,” said Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo. “But the work is not yet done. As afterschool programs across CA are at risk of cutting invaluable STEAM and other extracurricular services or closing altogether, we look to our colleagues in the Senate to follow suit and support California children and families before it’s too late.”
Currently, ASES programs serve 400,000 students in 4,200 schools across California, including more than 9,000 students in 87 schools in Assemblymember Carrillo’s district alone. These programs improve school attendance and reduce dropout rates, all while providing critical child care for working parents. Yet, each time the state minimum wage increases without additional funding from the state, ASES programs sink deeper into deficit.
Since 2007, the state minimum wage has increased 50%, but funding for ASES has only increased 9%. Without additional funding, nearly 1 in 4 programs expect to close their doors in 2020 and approximately 91,000 students would lose their afterschool program. These students and families would lose reliable and effective support systems that help children succeed in school, helps parents keep their jobs, and ultimately, helps families rise out of poverty.
AB 1725 and the accompanying budget request allocates an additional $1.56 per child, per day - $112.8 million total - to save ASES programs across the state today and protects ASES programs in the future by creating a mechanism to account for future minimum wage and cost-of-living increases.
“Afterschool helped my family survive over the past 6 years,” Haidee Diaz, a parent at Roosevelt Elementary School, said. “My 12 year-old son has always been in afterschool programs. It’s been the reason I’ve been able to go to school and to go to work.”
"We know that afterschool programs produce results,” Eric Gurna, President & CEO of LA's BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program serving 25,000 students, said. “We see it time and time again across graduation rates, attendance rates, juvenile crime, and beyond - yet, we’re facing a multi-million dollar deficit that threatens to undo our work, close our doors, and leave thousands of students with nowhere to go. We are grateful to Assemblymember Carrillo and her colleagues for leading the fight to protect these important programs"
AB 1725 now heads to the Senate and will be heard in the Senate Education Committee in the coming weeks. The budget request that accompanies AB 1725 is under the consideration of the Budget Conference Committee.
The Senate has proposed a $100 million augmentation from Proposition 98. The Assembly has proposed an $80.5 million augmentation from Proposition 64. Assembly Member Carrillo and supporters are grateful that both houses have prioritized critical funding in their budgets. They look forward to a compromise to keep children learning and keep parents working after school ends.