Policy Update
Your voice matters - as evidenced by the legislative letters and calls for 21st century community learning centers. Please continue to reach out next week to Washington DC explaining why afterschool and summer programs make a difference to Oregon children and youth.
Oregon Policy Update  

This week is the last that policy committees can work on legislation. After Friday, the only committees that will be able to amend or move legislation will be Rules, Revenue, and joint committees like Ways & Means. Any bill that doesn't make it to Rules or Ways & Means this week will die.

Now, more than ever, the legislature's attention is on budget and recenue as the session end (July 9th) draws near. Currently, Oregon's children and families rely on services that face dramatic cuts if new revenue is not identified. The three proposals to fill the budget shortfall we identified in the May 12th update are still in the works: transportation, provider, and corporate. We will keep you updated as these or any other revenue bills move forward. For now, you can read the draft corporate tax reform proposal and this article on the negotiations currently happening around it.

Other bills we'll be keeping an eye on:
  • House Bill 3191 is currently in Ways and Means, awaiting final budget decisions. This bill would support a pilot of summer learning opportunities to elementary school students in high poverty, low performing schools with high populations of English language learners.
  • SB 123B passed the Senate 18-10 last Monday, and has since been referred to House Revenue. The bill would allow voters to create Children's Special Districts while preventing harm to existing educational funding.

We urge you to continue your advocacy for youth, and particularly a sufficient, stable revenue stream that will support Oregon and our children.
HOST Coalition Letter

The Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition has drafted a letter to Congress in response to the Trump administration's full FY2018 budget. The letter sends a strong, unified message in support of the federal policies and programs that promote health and wellness for children across the country. In particular, HOST highlights the ways expanded learning opportunities provide a crucial link between federal health and wellness policies for children, and the real life actions that help children grow up strong and active. 
"With an established record of accomplishment, afterschool and summer learning programs should not be underestimated as potential 'game changers' in promoting wellness among young people and therefore funding that support these programs must be maintained," the letter reads.
National or state organizations are strongly urged to sign the letter in order to demonstrate the broad support for healthy out of school time programs.  Read the letter here To sign on,  click here  and complete the form by 2 p.m. PDT today Friday, June 2.

Afterschool for All Challenge

The President's budget includes $0 for afterschool and summer. This means that almost 2 million children across the nation could lose their access to afterschool and summer programs, including over 10,000 students in Oregon representing 152 communities. Their fate is in Congress' hands, and we are asking you to join us and the Afterschool Alliance in telling Congress why afterschool matters.
Join the national Day of Action for Afterschool on  June 7, 2017 . Afterschool advocates across the nation are joining together to share their powerful stories of afterschool with members of Congress. You can engage in actions as simple as sending an email or as complex as hosting a policy maker for a site visit.  Click here  for resources and more ways to get involved!
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

OregonASK is a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which seek to address common-issues and concerns across all out-of-school time services- child care, recreation, education and youth development.

(503)689-1656 | general@oregonask.org | www.oregonask.org
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