Some 6,476 children in Maine would lose their afterschool program, if the budget proposal the President sent to Congress on Monday makes it into law.
Despite years of research proving that afterschool and summer-learning programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and help relieve working parents, the President’s budget would eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. That’s the principal federal funding stream for afterschool and summer learning programs and, without it, some 1.7 million children across the nation will lose the programs their families rely on.
This would be a tragedy. Children would be left without supervision. They’d lose terrific learning opportunities that extend beyond the school day, and parents who have been able to participate in the local workforce with more ease, will be struggling for childcare again, and at risk of losing or quitting their jobs.
Our 21st Century grant program serves more than 150 students a week in the RSU 13 district of Thomaston and Rockland. Without this funding, our afterschool and summer programs would not continue and these children and families would lose afterschool care.
Fortunately, Congress doesn’t have to rubber-stamp the President’s afterschool mistake. I urge our Members of Congress to increase, not eliminate, federal funding for afterschool programs.
Sarah Rogers is the 21st Century Afterschool Program Director for RSU 13 District, based in Rockland