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Election 2012 Recap from Afterschool Alliance

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Policy & Legislation

Election 2012 Recap: The Potential Impact on Afterschool Policy and Advocacy

Originally published November 7

By Erik Peterson, Afterschool Alliance

Most Congressional races have been called and vote counts are winding down: so what do the results mean for youth and children; and for supporters of afterschool and summer learning opportunities? From key Committee leadership to the House and Senate Afterschool Caucus, here is a rundown of potential impact:

Prior to the election, the House Afterschool Caucus stood at 72 bipartisan members. As a result of election, 12 members will no longer be on the House Caucus. Six retired or resigned while four lost re-election, and two won election to the Senate: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN). Work will begin in the new Congress to recruit additional members to the Caucus. Among those retiring was Rep. Kildee (D-MI), founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, whose seat was won by his nephew Dan Kildee.

In the Senate Afterschool Caucus, prior to the election there were 34 bipartisan members. Going into the 113th Congress in January, six Caucus members have retired. Two new senators were members of the House Afterschool Caucus previously: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

On the House Education and Workforce Committee, as previously mentioned Rep. Dale Kildee retired. In addition to being founder of the House Afterschool Caucus, Mr. Kildee was also ranking member of the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee. Other key champions of afterschool that will not be in the 113th Congress include Rep. Woolsey (D-CA), Rep. Platts (R-PA), Rep. Kucinich (D-OH), Rep. Altmire (D-PA), Rep. Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Biggert (R-IL) who also championed STEM education and social and emotional learning.  In total, there will be 76 new representatives in the 113th House of Representatives.

With regard to education spending in the House, the chair of the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, Denny Rehberg (R-MT), lost his bid for a Senate seat. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) won his Senate contest, and Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) retired. That leaves three vacancies on this all-important subcommittee for the Republicans, and no indication at this point who will succeed Rep. Rehberg as chair.

In the Senate, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will likely remain chaired by Sen. Harkin (D-IA). Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) retired, leaving a vacancy on the committee, and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), while remaining on the committee, is expected to give up his ranking position, most likely to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Overall in the Senate, there will be 12 new Members. The number of women will reach 19, an increase that will surely change some dynamics in the Senate Chamber.

Prior to the 113th Congress being sworn in however, the current Congress is expected to begin a lame duck session on November 13. Among the issues on the agenda for the short session are the ‘fiscal cliff’ and sequestration that will have real implications for federal education funding. Stay tuned for a host of actions that afterschool advocates can take in the coming weeks and early in the next Congress to emphasize the importance of quality afterschool and summer learning programs for young people.


At School’s Out, we also recommend you check out National Conference of State Legislatures to learn what happened at the state level across the country.


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