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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 13, 2003
9:00 AM
CONTACT: Afterschool Alliance 
Lisa Lederer, 202-371-1999
New Data: Federal Funding Shortfall Leaves 75 Percent of Afterschool Needs Unmet
 
WASHINGTON - March 13 - The Afterschool Alliance today released a new analysis of the current shortfall in federal afterschool funding, and warned that if Congress adopts President Bush's budget proposal for the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, more than half a million more children nationwide will be without access to afterschool programs. That figure would be in addition to those already denied afterschool because current funding levels are inadequate to meet existing needs.

The Afterschool Alliance collected data from the 31 states where it was available to gauge how well 2002 funding met the need for afterschool from would-be grantees. The Alliance report, Closing the Doors on Afterschool Programs concludes that the current funding shortfall left more than 75 percent of 2002 requests for federal afterschool support unfunded in those states. Federal 21st CCLC funding is now administered by the states. New grant requests in 2002 in the 31 states totaled $768.4 million, with only $188.8 million available.

In two states, more than 90 percent of requested dollars were denied - Minnesota, which was able to fund just eight percent of grant requests, and Mississippi, which was able to fund just nine percent. Five other states fell below the 20 percent mark: Hawaii (16 percent), Michigan (12 percent), North Carolina (17 percent), South Carolina (16 percent), and Tennessee (17 percent).

"This data should frighten anyone who cares about keeping children safe in the afternoons and providing them with academic support," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Judy Y. Samelson. "We know from past research that afterschool programs can make a huge difference for children and their working parents. This new analysis makes it painfully clear that we're not close to meeting current demand for afterschool. To cut back further on afterschool, as the President proposes, would be to betray our children, their parents and communities."

Closing the Doors on Afterschool Programs also used existing state-by-state allocation formulas to calculate the impact in each state of the proposed Bush afterschool budget cut of 40 percent. Nationwide, the cut from the current $1 billion to $600 million would mean that approximately 561,000 children would be denied afterschool care.

The proposed cut's impact would be even more pronounced when compared to the funding authorization the President signed into law in his No Child Left Behind Act. The legislation called for $1.75 billion in funding in FY 2004. The dollar gap between the Bush proposal ($600 million) and the No Child Left Behind authorization ($1.75 billion) would have funded afterschool care for 1.6 million children. Experts say as many as 15 million children are without adult supervision during the afternoon hours.

To calculate the per-child cost for afterschool care, the Afterschool Alliance used the Department of Education's afterschool cost estimate of $700 per child. The Afterschool Alliance contacted each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to request data on grants requested and provided in 2002. For a variety of reasons, not all were able to provide data.

Much of the funding for the 21st CCLC program is committed in multi-year grants, so not all 21st CCLC funds were available for new grants in 2002. According to the U.S. Department of Education's budget justification, across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, $289 million was available for new grants in 2002.

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization supported by a group of public, private, and nonprofit entities dedicated to ensuring that all children and youth have access to afterschool programs by 2010. Information is available at http://www.afterschoolalliance.org.

NOTE: Closing the Doors on Afterschool Programs: An Analysis of How the Proposed Cut to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program Will Affect Children and Families in Every State is available from Lisa Lederer at 202-371-1999 or online at http://www.afterschoolalliance.org

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