A Senate panel restored funding for federal after school programs in a reauthorization bill for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The dedicated funding for afterschool and summer programs was initially was not included in its proposed reauthorization.
The Senate HELP committee voted to amend the reauthorization bill to include funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Across the country, about 1.6 million students participate in programs funded by community center grants. The programs offer tutoring, physical activities and hands-on enrichment opportunities in areas such as science, technology and the arts.
To qualify for the grants, providers must offer expanded day programs that total at least 300 hours over the course of a school year. The initial House version of the reauthorization bill also eliminated funding for after school programs, but it was withdrawn.