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 week this spring, to keep you all aware of changes and happenings on the state and national level. 
Oregon Budget Update

There are three proposals to help fill the budget shortfall in Oregon of $1.6 billion dollars in the next two-year budget cycle. All three proposals involve creating a new tax, to bring in revenue, in three separate areas: t ransportation, provider, and corporate.

The House version of the corporate tax was presented last Thursday and was met with a somewhat cold reception from the senate. The proposal would levy a 0.95 percent tax on Oregon businesses' sales over $5 million, and the tax would bring in an estimated $2.2 billion for schools and other services for the two-year budget. The bill will need at least one republican vote from each chamber to pass. 

The provider tax should come out next week, with most hospitals and health care providers accepting the tax that includes a 'sweetener' from the general fund and has much of the tax matched by federal funds. This tax would help fill the approximately $900 million gap in health services costs. The transportation tax is likely to be the last one voted on, and enjoys the most bi-partisan support at this point in time. 

We encourage you to contact your legislative representatives and ask them to work across the aisle to find funding for important services like expanded learning opportunities!
Oregon's ESSA Plan

The Oregon Department of Education submitted the final State ESSA Plan to the U.S. Department of Education on May 3rd. Full implementation of ESSA will begin this fall, in the 2017-18 school year. Click here to learn what comes next. Click here to read Oregon's State ESSA Plan.

We created a report on ESSA that provides a framework for implementation, as well as suggested funding sources to provide a practical manual for increasing student outcomes to meet the rigorous state goals.  Our  Report & Recommendations for Improving Access to Learning: A Sustainable Pathway for All , describes resources and opportunities to include expanded learning in our states efforts to increase student success. You can access the full report here.

Federal Budget Updates

Congress increased 21 st  Century Community Learning Centers funding by $25 million over the FY2016 level, to $1.19 billion- a win for children, families and the country! The increase means doors to quality local afterschool and summer learning programs will stay open for 1.6 million students and families and support an additional 25,000 of the 19.4 million students currently waiting for access. 

This increase is especially noteworthy following President Trump's proposal to eliminate the program in his FY2018 budget preview, which drove friends of afterschool to reach out to Congress with more than 57,000 calls and emails, energized supporters to turn out at town halls in their communities, and prompted more than 1,400 local, state, and national organizations to sign a letter in support of Community Learning Centers.

Other funding streams that can be used to support afterschool and summer learning STEM programs were largely supported as well
  • Title IV Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants - Funded at $400 million, an increase of $122 million over the total for the consolidated programs in 2016 but less than the $1.65 billion authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. Because this funding level is so much lower than the authorized level, states may be allowed to distribute as a competitive grant. Afterschool STEM, physical education, community school coordinators, mental health supports, and technology education are all allowable uses of the grant. 
  • National Science Foundation (NSF): The legislation funds NSF at $7.5 billion - $9 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. NSF targets funding to programs that foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education.
  • NASA's Office of Education was level funded with $100 million.
  • Perkins/Career Technical Education: Funded at $1.135 billion, an increase of $10 million, to support older youth career and workforce readiness education.
Though 21st CCLC saw an increase in funding for 2017, we do not want to stop speaking out yet. We need afterschool supporters to make your voices heard as Congress begins looking to FY2018, the year when President Trump wants to eliminate funding altogether. With your help, we'll continue seeing wins for America's kids and families.
Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen Career and Technical Education

On May 4th , the House Education and the Workforce (HEW) Committee introduced the    Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act    (H.R. 2353). The bill would reauthorize the  Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act  of 2006, which provides federal support to state and local career and technical (CTE) programs. This bill specifically provides more opportunities for coordination and collaboration by explicitly including community based providers as eligible entities, adding emphasis on employability skills and allowing programs to start as early as 5 th  grade for career exploration.

"Each and every student should have access to educational programs that provide the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in the 21st century economy," said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), and this bill can help do that.

To read a fact sheet on the bill, click  here .
To read a detailed bill summary, click  here .
To read the bill, click  here .

Capitol Hill Briefings

For more information about the national landscape and outlook, take a look at these recent briefings:
  • "STEM Education 101: Major Policy Issues for the 115th Congress" featured afterschool and summer learning in this briefing organized by the STEM Education Coalition. The briefing included Erik Peterson, VP of Policy at the Afterschool Alliance, the American Society for Engineering Education, the National Science Teachers Association, and Microsoft. 
  • The Afterschool Alliance and the Senate Afterschool Caucus co-hosted a briefing on 21CCLC along with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Every Hour Counts, National Afterschool Association, the National Summer Learning Association and the YMCA of the USA. Read the recap 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. 
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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