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. 
Over 1,450 Organizations Ask Congress to Keep Federal Funding for Afterschool 

More than 1,450 organizations have signed a letter to members of Congress on key appropriations subcommittees asking that they reject President Trump's proposed budget, which cuts federal support for after-school programs. In the letter, the signers request that $1.167 billion be provided for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), which is the program's current level of funding.

The Afterschool Alliance released it to the public Monday. "Quality after-school and summer learning programs are vital to communities across the nation," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant in a press release. "The idea that the federal government would abandon the students and families that rely on after-school is unthinkable... This funding directly supports after-school programs for 1.6 million children across the country."

The letter was signed by a mix of national, state, and local program representatives from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with 24 signees from Oregon. "These federal formula grants to states enable communities to leverage local resources by providing seed grants for 3-5 years that support community partnerships among community-based organizations, faith-based partners, private industry, and school partners (public, private, and charters)."

In addition to the organizational support letter, a "Dear Colleague" letter was delivered to Reps. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut. They oversee the key appropriations subcommittee in the House and were encouraged by 81 members of Congress from both parties to keep funding for 21st CCLCs at its current level. 

For more excerpts from the letter or information on the national response to 21st CCLC funding cuts CLICK HERE.

Smart Summers Report: Investing in Experience, Skills, and Oregon's Future through Summer Learning

We are thrilled to share with you this summer learning report created by the House Education Committee's Summer Learning Work Group, convened by Representative Smith Warner between the 2016 & 2017 legislative sessions. 

The Smart Summers Report explains the nature of summer learning, provides policy context for decision makers, and offers examples of how summer learning has made a difference for children in Oregon- and across the nation. Drawing on the experiences of diverse stakeholders, this report offers recommendations for linking enrichment and skill-building opportunities to provide high-impact learning experiences for Oregon kids most in need of them. Together, these recommendations support broader improvements in the structure, design, and quality of educational offerings that Oregon leaders are working toward. 

We convened a small group of stakeholders and legislators at the Gilbert House Children's Museum on Thursday April 13th for our official release of the report and to highlight all the good work continuing in Oregon. Many thanks to all the work group participants and partners who have helped inform our summer learning work! You can access the full report  here.
Upcoming Webinars

OregonASK is hosting a series of webinars this spring about federal policy surrounding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and 21CCLC. Please join us for this last conversations if you can, or find recordings and resources of the past Webinars here, including our most recent- Preserving 21st CCLC Funding and Integrating ESSA, Summer, and STEM.

ESSA and Informal STEM Policy Opportunities
April 26th 10:30-11:30 PST, register here

You will hear national policy updates from the Afterschool Alliance as we discuss the state and national opportunities to integrate informal STEM within ESSA implementation. We will be sharing updated policy information from the state and national level, including budget outlook. 
Town Halls

Senator Wyden will be returning to Oregon, and is hosting a series of town halls between April 17th and April 23rd. We encourage you to go if you can, and tell him why afterschool and funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers is important to you and your community. This is also an awesome opportunity to invite the Senator to visit your program so he can see first hand the difference afterschool makes for children in our state. 

CLICK HERE for a list of Senator Wyden's Town Hall Dates

CLICK HERE for resources to help you plan a legislative site visit 
OregonASK Day at the Capitol
Make your voice heard!

Join us on Tuesday, May 2nd in Salem to share with your local legislators why afterschool matters to you. 

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. 
Take Individual Action

You can make a difference.  Call on congress to  protect funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Need help finding your legislators? Click HERE. Need talking points to support your own stories of afterschool? HERE is evidence showing that Afterschool Works. 
Thank you for your support of afterschool in Oregon and across the nation.

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