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State and Federal Policy News & Updates

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

What’s Happening in Washington State

It’s time to celebrate! On Thursday, March 6, SSB 6163 (pdf link) was approved by the Legislature and will now move to the Governor for his final approval and passage into law. This legislation creates the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council to advise the Governor, State Legislature and State Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding an Expanded Learning Opportunities system. The council would coordinate policy development, set quality standards, and develop a comprehensive ELO action plan designed to implement ELOs, address summer learning loss, provide academic supports, build strong school/community partnerships, and track performance of ELOs in closing the opportunity gap.

Thanks to all our partners and Washington Afterschool Network members for moving this important legislation forward.  Read more in the latest edition of our enewsletter.

What’s Happening in Washington DC

At the federal level, there is some exciting movement in legislation to support afterschool through the 21st Century Community Learning Center program. Reps. Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Afterschool for America’s Children Act in the House of Representatives, HR 4086.  The  legislation would reauthorize and strengthen the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative—the nation’s chief federal funding stream for afterschool programs—by supporting innovative advances taking root in before-school, afterschool and summer learning programs. The bill is companion legislation to S. 326 introduced previously in the Senate. A summary of the legislation is available here.  The Afterschool Alliance’s blog, Afterschool Snack also has more information and updates about this legislation.

In other national news, First Lady Michelle Obama announced last month a new initiative to make afterschool programs healthier and more active environments for students. Read the full New York Times article about this exciting initiative to support and bring to the forefront the importance of afterschool programs in supporting our children and youth.

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