Youth from the Umatilla STEM Academy signing in for the Afterschool and Summer Day at the Capitol
Policy Updates
Now more than ever it is important for all of us to tell our legislators why afterschool matters to us. We invite you to join us in reaching out to our local and national representatives to share the stories of how afterschool makes a difference for youth and their communities. 

OregonASK will be sending out policy updates every Friday this spring, to keep you all aware of changes and happenings on the state and national level. 
Oregon Afterschool and Summer Day at the Capitol

Orego nASK hosted its annual Day at the Capitol May 2nd in Salem. The day was packed full  of legislative visits, robotics demonstrations, and conversations about the value of afterschool in su pportin g students both in learning and in life. We were joined by over 20 of our partners as well as a group of students from the Umatilla STEM Academy. Individuals visited t heir representatives and senators throughout the day, and there were several special events.

In partnership with The Y, OregonASK recognized eight legislators as Champions for Youth and Families. Summer Learning, and Children in Poverty. A list of the champions can be found below. During the recognition ceremony, legislators and YMCA Directors talked about the issues they face and what they are doing to support Oregon's children.

At noon, attendees and youth came together in the Galleria to hear some inspiring comments from Representative Smith Warner. After Rep. Smith Warner spoke, one of the students from Umatilla showed her some of the projects they'd been working on in the Umatilla STEM Academy. "Work smarter, not harder" the student explained about the importance of robotics in her future.

Summer Learning Champions:
  • Representative Smith Warner
  • Senator Haas
  • Representative Hack
Champions for Children in Poverty:
  • Representative Sprenger
  • Representative Whisnant
Champions for Youth and Families:
  • Representative Nathanson
  • Senator Frederick
  • Senator Roblan
Government Accountability Office Report: 21st Century Community Learning Centers Need More Oversight 
A new report from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued Wednesday, says "Education Needs to Improve Oversight of Its 21st Century Program." In this report, the GAO says the U.S. Department of Education "lacks useful data" about the impact programs have on children's attendance and discipline, even though research suggest the program helps in those areas, and cites that federal officials also need to provide more guidance for helping states evaluate the effectiveness of these programs, the report said.
"[Education Department] officials have not substantially revised the program's performance measures since 1998." The GAO indicates that the programs receiving 21st Century money tend to have a more positive effect on behavioral outcomes than on reading and math scores, but only 26 states choose to measure either the attendance or disciplinary records of students who participate, or both, of students who participate. "In addition, [the department] has not established any performance measures for socio-emotional outcomes, although social skills are also included in program objectives," the report states.

In a statement responding to the report , Jodi Grant, the executive director of the said "The after-school community wholeheartedly agrees that the U.S. Department of Education ... is long overdue for an update to its 21st CCLC objectives and for ensuring the performance measures and data collection system it uses reflect those objectives, including by evaluating classroom behavior, school day attendance, and engagement among after-school students." Read the full report  here .

Staying Up to Date with State Policy

We know how important it is to stay up-to-date on current state legislation and encourage those of you who are interested to know more about the happenings in Salem, you can follow bills directly from the   Oregon State Legislature   or contact   James Barta   to get weekly updates from Children First about a plethora of child related issues.

Thank you for your support of afterschool in Oregon and across the nation.

Beth Unverzagt, Executive Director
(503)689-1656
(503)689-1656 | general@oregonask.org | www.oregonask.org
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