After School Funding Action Alert

 In Amy Rasmussen, The CAPE Blog

5/28 Update:

Afterschool advocates are slated to win a historic victory in Illinois. After a year of advocacy following the announcement from ISBE that 300 21st CCLC sites would lose funding, the General Assembly’s proposed budget has $50 million in new funding for afterschool programs. Over the weekend, the Senate introduced Senate Floor Amendment Number 3 to the state budget bill SB0251. Article 106 Sections 100 and 105 include a combined $50 million for afterschool programs. The House is expected to approve this budget today. Once the Governor signs the budget and it becomes law, the Illinois State Board of Education will need to develop a mechanism for delivering this funding to the field through a competition. A grant this size will still need ISBE Board approval before it can be executed. The ISBE Board will meet again on June 12, 2024, but will not meet in July. ACT Now will work with legislators and ISBE to ensure this funding is delivered to the field as soon as possible. This is a historic victory for afterschool and is thanks to the tireless advocacy of our afterschool programs and legislative champions.

Read more information here.

5/14 Update:

Recently, a number of media outlets have covered this issue. A list of recent articles and news can be found below:

5/11 Update:

CAPE, in collaboration with the ACT Now Coalition, requests that Governor Pritzker support SB2943 — a $50 million investment in after-school learning. A full description of the issue has been written here:

If this funding is not in place by the end of this school year, 40,000 students and their families from across the state will lose access to free, high-quality after-school programming. These programs reach the state’s most vulnerable — low-income students in academically struggling schools.

SB 2943 has a growing list of cosponsors in the state senate. We are asking the Governor to support this legislation and include the funding request in his budget priorities.

CAPE and many other after-school program providers across Illinois are fighting to save its after-school programs. Due to an error in budgeting at the Illinois State Board of Education, the agency is cutting funding, resulting in 40,000 students across the state losing access to high-quality after-school programs.  For CAPE, 10 of our 13 after-school program sites will lose $135,000 per site.  This funding represents about half of CAPE’s operating budget.   

There is a solution!  Senate Bill 2943 will restore funding and prevent the most at-risk students and families from losing access to programs.  This legislation will provide an additional $50,000,000 in after-school program funds — funds that are critically needed to meet the needs of Illinois families.

What can you do? 

  1.  Please click on this link to send a message to your legislator and ask for their support for this bill. 
  2.  Share this link with everyone you know to help spread the word about this critical issue

CAPE and our colleague organizations, including Family Focus, Metropolitan Family Services, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Enlace, Chicago Youth Centers and many others, are working with the ACT Now Coalition to advocate for this funding.   

ISBE notified us in May 2023 that funding would no longer be available for our programs — more details are available here.    Already, 6,000 students have lost access to programs in the state.  We are fortunate that Chicago Public Schools was able to step in and provide some stopgap funding for programs for the 2023-2024 school year.  But that funding is running out, and is not a permanent solution.  We need your help today!

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