Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY), a nonprofit statewide organization comprised of government, business and community leaders, is warning of potential federal budget cuts that could eliminate funding this summer school and various physical activities that are offered at schools like San Fernando High.
The potential elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ grants could severely impact or end programs offered by the EduCare Foundation through the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Beyond the Bell Branch, such as Calculus Camp, dance, Morning Fitness and ACE (Achievement and Commitment to Excellence).
“EduCare programs … are an important resource for working class families who want their kids to succeed, but simply don’t have the ability or knowledge to support them at home,” said George Hernández, Vice President of After School Programs for EduCare Foundation.
“Our staff connect, follow up with, and advocate on behalf of students throughout their academic journey. More importantly, EduCare supports student transition from middle school to high school, and high school to college or university,” Hernandez said.
For organizations like EduCare, the grants are critical as it is the only funding stream dedicated to high school-aged students, according to PCY officials. The grants ($1.2 billion), which support expanded learning activities for more than 1.6 million predominantly economically disadvantaged children across the country, are on President Donald Trump’s chopping block.
Trump’s recent proposal to eliminate them from the federal budget worries program providers who say that the move could leave children and youth across the country without access to vital programs that support their personal and academic development, and keep them safe during the summer months and after school hours,.
“We are calling on our State Legislature and Congress also to preserve summer learning and after school programs by securing proper funding, while respectfully reminding them that in so doing they are looking out not just for the communities they serve, but also for our future,” said Jennifer Peck, PCY chief executive officer.
“We need all of our state partners on board. We can’t afford to lose the investments that California has made to build this expanded learning network, which provides opportunities for kids to learn and gain skills, and supports working families by keeping their children safe and engaged. Now is not the time to be penny-wise and pound-foolish on programs that have a long-term impact on our youth and communities,” Peck said.
She added that over the last three years, PCY has launched numerous statewide campaigns that – despite generating resounding support from cities, school districts, and law enforcement agencies from across the state – have yet to secure the full backing of the legislature, the governor, and labor.