Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Face the Truth: DC Trust Budget Reduction will Hurt 2,391 Students

In past blogs, DCAYA has talked a lot about the DCPS afterschool budget cut and the effect it will have on the afterschool infrastructure by laying off 25 DCPS-OSTP coordinators.

Read more about the DCPS budget cut: Budget Cuts to DC Afterschool Programs

Sadly, the damage to afterschool programming doesn’t stop there. The DC Trust did not receive $2.5 million for their afterschool grants in the proposed FY16 budget. These afterschool grants support 78 youth-serving organizations across the District. Programs like DC SCORES, Higher Achievement, and Words, Beats, & Life, Inc., are just a few DC Trust grantees who will lose funding if the $2.5 million is not restored.

The impact these organizations’ have on a students’ development goes beyond just words. View the faces of the children and youth who may lose their favorite afterschool programs if funding is not restored and sustained for future budget cycles.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Budget Blog Part II

Today’s blog comes to you as Part 2 of our team’s analysis of Mayor Bower’s proposed DC Budget for 2016. The Mayor’s proposal is now before Council where, through a series of upcoming public hearings and advocacy meetings, it will be debated and revised by Council Committees before it goes to a final vote.

Last week, we brought forward our concerns about the DCPS afterschool budget. Now we would like to turn our analysis to older youth services and system-level investments. We encourage you to take a look at our analysis and then testify about your particular concerns at DC Council budget hearings.

Please note that our analysis will become more nuanced as we are able to clarify details about the budget. To keep up with the latest information, sign up to our mailing list.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Response to DCPS's "FY16 Afterschool and Extended Day Overview"

Photo courtesy of Kid Power, an afterschool and summer program.
After our last blog on the cuts to afterschool funding, DCPS released a statement attempting to clarify the afterschool funding for next year. Unfortunately, the data and explanations they offer in this new statement still seem to indicate that afterschool programming will be reduced.  

We spent time today working with DCPS to understand their statement and the difference between our analyses. One problem that we identified together is that the internal budget documents they are using do not reflect the same numbers as the Mayor’s budget. While we understand that school-based funding can be prone to frequent readjustments, we do hope that in the near future we can all be working with identical, clear information at the school level, and the aggregate level. DCPS has been gracious in helping resolve this, and we both are committed to continuing dialogue about this important issue affecting students and families. We are also committed to helping them improve their data and analysis as they do the difficult work of budgeting for a myriad of variables.

Moving forward we hope that DCPS, along with the DC Council - who has the power to change this budget - will take a closer look at the quality of the data and analysis leading to cuts in afterschool programs.

Here are our top concerns specifically regarding the most recent DCPS statement on afterschool funding. These have been shared with DCPS and we have included updates from them where applicable.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Budget Cuts to DC Afterschool Programs

It’s that time of year again: The DCAYA team brings you our analysis of the newly released DC budget.

This year, we’re going to split our analysis into two sections. Part 1, today’s blog, will focus on cuts in the DCPS afterschool budget. Next week, Part 2 ,will focus on our concerns related to older youth services and system level investments.

**To preface, this analysis is in its working stages. We are actively tracking down greater details about the budget. Nonetheless, we have identified some clear areas of concern that we did not want to delay in getting out to parents, service providers, and other community partners. I strongly encourage you to continue to visit our blog, Twitter, Facebook and website for updates as the budget analysis process continues.

Concern regarding Afterschool Funding:


Just last year, DC ranked #2 in the country for having the best afterschool programs. Over 7,200 students were enrolled in afterschool programs and  DCPS stated its commitment to universal access to afterschool programming. Why? Afterschool programs, or expanded learning opportunities, have been shown to improve academic, social/emotional , health and safety aspects of students’ lives. Working parents, particularly for those with younger children and limited income, need afterschool programs for economic stability and the safety of their children.

Yet, after examining the budget documents for the upcoming year, which were released April 2, we know with certainty that broad, deep funding cuts will result in thousands of students not being able to attend afterschool programs next year, unless Council makes immediate changes to the budget.