Now signed into law, the American Rescue Plan provides more than $30 billion in education funding that will support and expand afterschool and summer programming across the nation. This historic allocation of funding is the first major increase in afterschool spending since the creation of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, and also includes $39 billion for childcare.
Of the $8.45 billion in set asides for State Education Agencies, $1.22 billion must be reserved for afterschool programming, in addition to $1.22 billion to be reserved for summer programming. Approximately $6.1 billion will be allocated to Local Education Agencies to be used for learning loss recovery, which includes afterschool and summer programming as well.
Previously, the Iowa Before and After School Grants Program was established as a state funding source for afterschool and summer programs, but was cut from the state budget during the 2009 Great Recession. With an increase in education funding, Iowa’s youth would greatly benefit from re-establishing the Before and After School Grants Program. In an effort to make sure that afterschool is at the table when budget decisions are being made, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with the Advancing Afterschool Coalition has drafted a letter to be sent to Iowa’s policymakers. Now we need you to tell Iowa’s decision makers to #FundAfterschool!
The Iowa Department of Education should use these state set-asides to create a special grant competition for out-of-school time programs. Below, you can access the Iowa COVID-19 Before and After School Grants Program Advocacy and Media Toolkit, which is free for you to use. This toolkit includes resources for you to write letters to policymakers and editors, as well as social media content that is easy for you to copy and paste! Advocacy should be focused on the Governor's Office and the Iowa Department of Education, but making contact with your legislators and local boards won't hurt.
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance would greatly appreciate your support in our upcoming advocacy efforts. If you have any questions, or are in need of support, please contact Emilee Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.