Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
Meeting Minutes - September 23, 2008
Kathie Scott, California Department of Education (CDE) liaison to the Committee
John L. White
Sandra McBrayer, Advisory Committee Chair (The Chair) called the meeting to order at 9:37 a.m.
Introduction of Members
The Chair introduced Loren Tarantino as a new member of the Advisory Committee. Ms. Tarantino was appointed to the Committee by Jack O’Connell. Ms. Tarantino represents high school programs and is currently the Student Support Services Program Manager for Sweetwater Union High School District in San Diego County. Loren replaced Patti Roehrs-Clark who retired in June 2008. The members and the CDE consultant liaison introduced themselves.
Review of Meeting Materials
Kathie Scott provided members with an overview of meeting materials and the agenda.
Approval of Minutes from June 25, 2008 – Action
The Advisory Committee members reviewed minutes from the June 25, 2008, Advisory Committee meeting. Carla Sanger made a motion to approve the minutes, Alvaro Cortes seconded the motion, and the members unanimously approved the minutes.
Advisory Committee Chair Report
The Chair provided the Advisory Committee with an update on Assembly Bill 1526, an education trailer bill to the 2008-09 Budget Act. This bill proposes substantial changes to After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program funding. The bill would give the Legislature the authority to set the annual appropriation level. This would allow a proposition to be put on the ballot in November to repeal any additional ASES funding and that would prevent ASES funds from being reappropriated until Proposition 98 is fully funded. This would make it extremely difficult for after school programs, because they would not know what their funding level would be each year. The Secretary of State requested that this not move forward, but the bill is now on the Governor’s desk.
The Chair commented that Assembly Bill 1526 was proposed due to the budget deficit and also because of low attendance levels in before and after school programs. The California Department of Finance (DOF) has estimated that approximately $200 million will remain unspent by ASES grantees from 2007-08. Ana Campos asked if the DOF estimate is based on under-serving programs or dollars that were allocated but not spent. The Chair commented that the estimate is based mainly on under-serving programs not meeting their attendance goals. She reminded Advisory Committee members this is a key year. If programs do not meet their attendance goals but expend their funding, they would still have a problem. If they are not meeting their attendance goals next year, but they are spending the funding, they will lose some of their funding.
Senate Bill 1674 (Torlakson) is also on the Governor’s desk for signature. John Malloy clarified the DOF estimates were not provided by the CDE. The Chair reminded the members the DOF has been asked repeatedly how they came up with the $200 million estimate and they have not revealed how the amount was determined. John Malloy stated that the best CDE 2006-07 estimate is approximately $40 million. There are some grantees that have not closed out 2006-07 so this amount is only an estimate, but it is far less than the DOF $200 million estimate. Mr. Malloy stated there is money that has not been spent, but for 2007-08 there are many agencies not meeting their attendance goals.
The CDE and the Regional Leads will be working with grantees to increase their attendance, because there are a lot of grantees not meeting their attendance goals. The law is clear that if attendance is not at the projected level this year, the CDE will be evaluating attendance and billing grantees for unspent funds and lowering grants to reflect actual attendance. John reminded the Advisory Committee that through the last request for applications (RFA) process the CDE had over $200 million in requests for funding from agencies that could not be funded. The Chair stated the Legislature questioned whether after school programs need the full $550 million in ASES funding. The Chair has conveyed to the Legislature that there were $200 million more requests for funding than could be granted, so the $550 million is needed. There are communities that have sites that need the ASES program.
Carla Sanger asked why this is a twelve-month process. John Malloy explained that the law requires the CDE to review program attendance. Last year was a free year for attendance monitoring. This year if grantees do not make 75 percent of their attendance goals, they can receive technical assistance from the CDE and the Regional Leads. If they do not reach 85 percent this year and next year, the CDE will reduce their grants. Programs can take a voluntary reduction in lieu of CDE permanently reducing their grant. Mr. Malloy also reminded the Advisory Committee before funding is reduced, technical assistance will be provided, but if programs cannot meet their attendance goals after they are provided technical assistance, the CDE will reduce their grants. There are schools and communities that need after school programs, so the CDE will make sure that funding goes to programs that need the funding.
Alvaro Cortes asked if enrollment dropped statewide. John Malloy explained that in some areas the enrollment has dropped but other areas have increased enrollment. On balance, enrollment has dropped a little but not enough to make an impact. Mr. Cortes stated that his district is going through a large building process due to schools changing from year-round to traditional, and this has created a problem with program improvement (PI) being one of the criteria for establishing new ASES sites. Mr. Malloy reminded the Advisory Committee that PI is a federal designation for schools and does not apply to the State ASES Program only the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program. The PI requirement is in federal law so this would need to be changed at the federal level.
Loren Tarantino asked whether there was language in the trailer bill that would allow programs to not operate on days where there was not a signed budget. John Malloy stated that this was not included in the trailer bill and the California Education Code (EC) requires that programs operate on regular school days regardless of whether a budget has been passed. Ana Campos asked what the issue is with the ASES program when new schools are built with students coming from PI schools that have funding. Ms. Campos further asked what can be done to ensure that students coming from schools without an ASES program have access to the program in their new school. John Malloy explained that the superintendent of the new school can certify through the site substitution process that 50 percent of the students attending the new school came from a site with at least 50 percent free and reduced-price meals (FRPM), but the CDE cannot guarantee that new sites will get ASES funding if money is tied up in other schools that are underperforming. If there is ASES funding freed up, the CDE can issue a new ASES RFA but it will follow the same rules as last time with the priority for funding being schools with at least 50 percent FRPM.
Ana Campos asked if the CDE would be able to transfer funding from one school to another in the same area. John Malloy stated that there may be some cases where this could be done, but the CDE will follow the law. If funding is freed up, the CDE can go out with another RFA but the priorities for funding will be the same. Mr. Malloy reminded the Advisory Committee the ASES Universal grants do not include an adjustment for large schools and do not have supplemental or before school programs. John Malloy said, “It is not assured that similar schools will get funding.” The law is clear that if money is freed up, the CDE can issue another RFA, but the priorities will be the same (50 percent FRPM). The Chair reminded the Advisory Committee they must let their legislators know that funding must not be taken away from current ASES sites on a permanent basis. If funding is removed from schools in an area, it should be redirected to other schools in the area that are in need of funding. John stated that California has plenty of schools that do not qualify for an ASES grant that are 40 percent or more FRPM. John Malloy reminded the Advisory Committee members to speak with their regional consultant if they have additional questions.
Louis Fernandez asked whether the CDE will be checking where attendance is lower than the projected level. The Chair reminded the Advisory Committee the Legislature does not care why funding is not being spent, they are looking for extra funding to use for other programs. John Malloy stated the CDE is aware low student attendance may be due to low staffing levels or the inability to recruit and retain staff. Mr. Malloy reminded the Advisory Committee they need to remember when the $550 million was available, we had $120 million in federal 21st CCLC funding for elementary and middle schools. According to the funding percentage specified in the EC, we now have less than $20 million available for elementary and middle schools for the next RFA. Mr. Malloy stressed that ASES funding will be more and more needed.
The Chair stated this gets back to what the Legislature believes about after school programs. The Legislature is hearing from the DOF that we have lots of under performing schools. We need to inform our local legislators that ASES funding should not be redirected to other programs, but should be redirected to other areas of higher needs in after school programs. We must reach out to our legislative leaders. John Malloy further clarified that the EC requires that 50 percent of available 21st CCLC funding go to high schools. Ana Campos commented if we reduce funding now and an RFA does not go out until 2008-09 the amount of funding available will continue to grow. Ms. Campos inquired if there is a way to get services started now and if it would be better for programs. John Malloy commented that the CDE still needs to review expenditure reports, and the CDE will be as proactive as possible. Louis Fernandez commented that the Advisory Committee needs to look at how new funding can be used to minimize the impact on programs. Michael Funk commented that Assembly Bill 1526 might impact this year’s budget. The Chair stated this would impact the 2009-10 budget. The law would take effect now, but the budget year that would be impacted would be one year out. Carla Sanger asked why the CDE could not get an RFA out without knowing how much, if any, funding will be available. This would make it appear to the Legislature that after school programs need more funding and have students to serve. John Malloy stated that all of our funding is currently encumbered. The Chair asked Mr. Malloy to look into the possibility of releasing an ASES RFA in the spring.
Protocol for Selecting Presenters
The Chair asked members what protocol they would like to put in place for the selection of presenters to the Advisory Committee. Alvaro Cortes stated that the Advisory Committee should consider what value the presentation will have and whether it is for information or if the presenter is a provider. Mr. Cortes added the Advisory Committee should also consider the rationale for presentations. The Chair stated that normally the CDE reviews presenter requests and selects programs that are using best practices or are a topic that a member has requested. The CDE has turned down vendors in the past. The Chair added we do not want it to look like the Advisory Committee has endorsed a product or service.
California Department of Education Staff Report
After School Programs Update
John Malloy provided members with an update on CDE projects. Mr. Malloy informed the Advisory Committee the budget will be signed today or tomorrow. The ASES grant award notifications are currently being prepared for mailing and regardless of when the budget is signed, the awards are being mailed. The CDE cannot send out 21st CCLC grant award notifications until the budget is signed. John reminded members that grantees will receive their ASES grant award before the 21st CCLC. The Cohort 6 RFA for the 21st CCLC Program (Cohort 3) is expiring and their funding will finance the Cohort 6 or current RFA process. It will be a smaller amount of money than the last two cohorts, but the CDE does not know what the funding amount will be. The CDE expects the RFA will be released in mid fall, hopefully in October 2008. The CDE determined that the timeline for last year was too tight. The CDE will notify everyone on the email list when the RFA is released. The RFA will also be posted on the CDE Web site.
The Chair thanked the CDE for listening to the Advisory Committee’s recommendation that the RFA should be released sooner. Although the CDE intends to release the RFA earlier, the problem might be getting the RFA through the CDE approval process. There will be few changes from the last RFA and the percentages will still be 50 percent for high school After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) grants, 40 percent for elementary and middle school grants, and ten percent for family literacy and equitable access grants. The Legislature’s priority is for high school programs. Ana Campos asked how many more high schools are there that might apply for a grant. John Malloy replied he expects that all of the ASSETs funding will be used. The CDE annual grant from the U.S. Department of Education is about $130 million per year. The CDE has encumbered $150 million in grants due to carryover. John Malloy announced there will be 21st CCLC orientations to be held on November 3, 2008 in Sacramento for elementary and middle schools. The CDE is tagging onto the Best Out Of School Time (BOOSTer) Conference in San Diego for the high school orientation scheduled for November 6, 2008. John Malloy also announced that Jane Ross accepted another position in the CDE so we will be advertising for another administrator. The recruitment process closed last week. The after school offices will merge to be the After School Programs Office instead of operating as two offices.
Alvaro Cortes asked if the CDE was looking at more small local or regional trainings. Even from Los Angeles, a conference in San Diego requires staff to stay overnight. John Malloy said that the CDE is looking into doing more Web casts instead of conferences or workshops. Mr. Malloy stated we have two modules in development to be posted on the Sacramento County Office of Education Web site. One module is for fiscal requirements for elementary and middle school programs. The other module brings together a panel of four after school programs to discuss exemplary practices in increasing attendance. The CDE management needs to know about travel a month ahead of schedule. Ana Campos asked if she could get an update on the After School Quality Assessment Tool (Tool). John Malloy stated the CDE has given input to the California AfterSchool Network (CASN) about the Tool. The Tool should be out shortly. Mr. Malloy added that this will be covered in the CASN update. The Chair informed the Advisory Committee that Education Secretary Long resigned as of the end of this month. The Chair further announced that Diane Levin will be leaving the Advisory Committee to take a job with the California Commission on Children and Families (First Five).
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Renee Newton provided an update about the Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee (OES) beginning with the development of outcome tools. The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is set to develop and field test the outcome tools. That proposal is waiting for an award notice. Development will occur in two phases and will be a collaborative effort lead by Deborah Vandell from UCI and Terry Westover from the University of California, Davis (UCD). The first phase will be four to five months of tool development and phase two will include field testing and pilot testing. One of the principal investigators would like to present to the OES soon, and Ms. Newton will report back to the Advisory Committee. Ms. Newton explained that the OES should have movement on this issue soon and then she can convene the OES. Funding for this project is through the Packard Foundation.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
The Chair gave a report on current Workforce Development Subcommittee (WDS) activities. At the last meeting, the Chair informed the Advisory Committee that the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office released a request for proposals (RFP) that will solicit applications from California Community Colleges to link after school employment for various career pathways. The RFA was for $1.5 million or $300,000 per pilot site for a two-year period. Each project has a different enrollment.
There were eight applicants, of which five were funded. The Chair referred to this proposal as “growing your own.” The goal of this program is to increase the after school staff workforce by linking Workforce Investment Act (WIA) eligible young adults with community colleges ending with their employment in local after school programs. The program will contextualize the curriculum towards after school programs. The five applications were: San Diego City College, San Jose City College, Peralta Community College (Oakland), State Center Community College (Fresno) and Hartnell Community College (Salinas). The Chair provided the Advisory Committee members with an example from the San Diego project. There are 30 students enrolled in the first cohort. San Diego City College staff have contextualized English, beginning mathematics, and professional growth classes. This project is also a partnership with the workforce development system because the students participating in the project are WIA-eligible.
California AfterSchool Network Report
Andee Press-Dawson gave an update about current CASN activities and projects. Ms. Press-Dawson announced the CASN has a new brochure that explains what work the CASN does.
Ms. Press-Dawson then gave an update on the California Quality Assessment Tool (Tool). The CASN began working on the Tool with the CDE several months ago. The CASN received input from various members of the community on the Tool. The CASN contracted with Corey Newhouse to finalize the Tool along with developing a user’s manual. The CASN presented the Tool to the CDE three weeks ago and one week ago received final feedback from the CDE. The Tool is now in its final phase and will be ready for orientations in November. The Tool is a living document and throughout the year users can provide feedback. The final document will be completed a year from now. The CASN received two years of funding from the Packard Foundation to finish, duplicate, and develop training for the Tool. The Regional Leads will be the first to be trained followed by the 21st CCLC grantees. A CASN Leadership Team (Leadership Team) meeting was held – hosted by the Bay Area Partnership. The Leadership Team is now at full capacity with a membership of 25 people. The Leadership Team voted to add a new committee. This committee will focus on health, nutrition, and physical activity in the after school arena. The CASN will be accepting members in the next couple weeks. The CASN believes this will address a huge need in the field.
Ms. Press-Dawson announced the CASN hired a second program coordinator, Michele Hamilton, who comes from the CORAL project in Sacramento. In addition, the CASN was just notified they received an additional three years of funding from the Mott Foundation. They also received an achievement grant to focus on high school and student achievement. The CASN is currently working with the CDE to put on two 21st CCLC program orientations. The CASN is working on different ways to reach out to after school grantees and the field: information tables at various conferences and workshops, direct mailings to all after school programs, and a learning communities project that will reach out to the five local communities. These local communities include: two high school, one middle, one rural, and one school administrators communities. The CASN is also administering a peer-to-peer mentoring project that offers site administrator to administrator mentoring that is funded by the Packard Foundation. The CASN is currently recruiting mentees. This project is an excellent way to reduce staff turnover.
The CASN list serv membership is up to 2,600 and the Web site hosts about 580 visitors per day. In addition, the CASN is operating several committees, including: Leadership (25 members), Research Committee (55 members), Policy (51 members), Quality (71 members), and older youth (81 members).
Encore After School Presentation
Michael Funk gave a presentation about the Encore After School (EAS) project. The EAS is part of the Asperinet after school program which operates the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center. Mr. Funk started the Experience Corps Bay Area project eleven years ago. Experience Corps Bay Area is part of the national Experience Corps program started by Civic Ventures. Marc Freedman, the founder of Civic Ventures, is a leader in the area of the aging of the American workforce. Marc Freedman is the author of “Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life.”
Aspiranet launched the EAS as a pilot initiative with funding from the Packard and Koret Foundations. The goal of the EAS project is making sure that retiring boomers are motivated and can find pathways to social purpose careers.
Mr. Funk explained that in California, there is a conspicuous absence of experienced older workers in the workforce. In a study it was shown that most older adults do not know that working in after school programs is an option for them. The EAS project started recruiting over the summer and began placement of older workers in the fall. The actual number of older workers placed is a concern for the EAS. Of 36 applicants in Oakland only three were placed, and in Santa Clara out of 35 applicants only one was placed. However, he explained that he learned a lot of lessons from this experience. Older adults reported that they were grateful to have an opportunity to apply for a job in an after school program, but many did not have the skills to manage a classroom. However, they did have mentoring and tutoring skills. It was determined that education was needed to get older people working in after school programs. In addition, many older workers wanted part-time work, but the coordinators of after school programs preferred people who could work five days per week.
Mr. Funk reported the biggest lesson learned was in most cases, coordinators would hire someone in their twenties instead of an older applicant. Intergenerational training will be needed to let them see the possibilities. He reported it was not enough to put people in the pipeline towards employment in after school programs, you must be actively engaged in putting programs and applicants together. Current older workers can serve as after school spokespeople for this. Given the average turnover of staff in after school programs is 40 percent, older workers stay for five years or more and can be a stabilizing influence on after school programs. Following Mr. Funk’s presentation, there was a discussion on recruitment and how many older applicants came from craigslist (Outside Source). Most applicants know how to use a computer. In addition, most senior centers do not work because these seniors typically do not have the technology skills to work in after school programs. Mr. Funk found that newspaper ads were also successful. The EAS located 10 to 12 applicants that were highly qualified. Flexibility and scheduling were also a concern. Mr. Funk found that most applicants were good-hearted people who need work part time but who do not have any experience working with students or people in a program.
After School Mapping Project Presentation
Perry Chen gave a presentation on the California After School Technical Assistance (CASTA) project. This presentation was a companion piece to the introduction of CASTA given in June 2008, by Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez, one of the Regional Leads for Region 5. Mr. Chen presented information about the CASTA catalog and technical assistance products. The catalog project grew out of the CASTA technical assistance providers project and captures services and what technical assistance resources are available. The catalog project can bring the community together to share and organize information. Mr. Chen is currently working on ways that information can be recorded and shared. Mr. Chen is working on a technical assistance locator to help users find the technical assistance they need. The system includes a search engine and a hub. Mr. Chen is careful not to duplicate efforts. He is also developing a map of technical assistance projects in California. The map can reveal potential gaps in technical assistance services. The core to the catalog is data collection. Currently, Mr. Chen is working on scanning and inputting all types of data. This includes, but is not limited to: word-of-mouth, other directories, conferences, and online searching. The database includes one-time and ongoing technical assistance and curriculum. They are now beginning a second phase to shore up the accuracy of information and get an idea of live projects people are doing, what they are currently funded for, and what their expertise is. Mr. Chen is looking for a way to keep the projects cost efficient, effective, and sustainable.
The CASTA will provide an online community of technical assistance providers similar to Facebook (Outside Source) and will be sustainable and searchable. Mr. Chen intends the database to be like a shopping Web site for technical assistance. There will be some overlap with other databases, but it is more important for users to get an update, and then control for the overlap. The database will allow users to search for technical assistance providers. It will also look up resources such as CASRC. CASTA will provide users with local and regional directories. It will also provide online training calendars. There will be two ways to search: by keywords and a wizard of questions. Users will be able to sort by the most relevant, grade level, and other categories.
The last CASTA funding is a mapping project. This project will be able to capture subjects and topics and generate a map of these. It will be useful for end users, technical assistance supports, and technical assistance providers. Mr. Chen is open to feedback and input. He reminded members that CASTA is at the beginning of this process. He mentioned that many of CASTA’s services will be free. CASTA is funded through the Packard Foundation. CASTA leads include Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez, Reba Rose, and Renee Newton. Carla Sanger stated that it is important that the data on the site be current and relevant. Ana Campos asked if they are thinking of adding a review mode so that users can see recommendations and reviews from other users. Mr. Chen indicated that it has been discussed as something that would be useful for users.
Central Valley After School Foundation Presentation
Lindsay Callahan gave a brief overview of the Central Valley After School Foundation (Foundation). The Foundation began in late 2005 in Region 7. Their goal is building quality after school programs in Region 7. The Foundation provides general professional development and specific support. There are about 400 programs using the Foundation’s services. These services include: sustainability; marketing; support of middle and high school programs; community support, partnership building, community-based organization capacity building, and a workforce project. Original funding for the Foundation came from the Packard Foundation and the Region 7 Regional Lead (planning), but currently the Foundation is funded solely by the Region 7 Regional Lead (implementation). Michael Macias of the Foundation gave the Advisory Committee an update of current projects and services. He discussed a recruitment and retention project that is going on now. The Foundation wants to be proactive to regional needs instead of reactive. Their services are grantee driven. To determine regional grantee needs, the Foundation surveyed after school programs in the area and determined that recruitment and retention of staff was critical. It was found that staffing in local programs was too low to serve the maximum number of students. The Foundation surveyed 35 grantees in the region to see what was and was not working in the region, what is happening, and what needs to be done. Mr. Macias stated there is a great pool of applicants, but marketing is neither creative nor effective.
Many after school programs recruit local college students on a teacher track but they are not exploring students on other tracks. True marketing can reach another segment of the population not tapped before. Goals for the project include: meeting minimum staffing needs, reaching a pool of 1,000 applicants, and retaining after school staff for a minimum of two years. They use multiple efforts and strategies and take advantage of many media to reach potential applicants. They have reached out to local newspapers including the Fresno Bee and the Madera Tribune. The Foundation also uses local television media. Lindsay will be on Central Valley Today in the near future. The Foundation also uses campus recruitment. They are working with the Central Valley Community College. After school programs in Region 7 are competing with other business such as Starbucks and Wal Mart.
The Foundation participates in job fairs. Mr. Macias reported they have a tremendous response to this strategy. He stated that of the 1,000 people he spoke to at a job fair table, only two percent knew about after school programs jobs. Mr. Macias stated that one of the problems in marketing after school programs to potential applicants is the way that agencies communicate about after school programs opportunities. The language in ads needs to be directed to the audience. The Foundation tries to be creative and changes the tone of messages. They also use the California Retired Teachers Association and work with the local chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons to recruit part-time retired people. Retired workers make up a big portion of the potential workforce of people wanted to work in the after school field. The Foundation also operates an after school job board. They have developed a site to link with potential applicants and filters applicants for businesses. Applicants can list abilities, hobbies, work history, education, and skills. The system will filter just the applicants that are qualified for a particular job. They send e-mail blasts about jobs and helpful hints. The system will send a text message when there is a new job opportunity an applicant is qualified for. In the two to three months the job board has been in operation, there have been over 500 applicants.
Mr. Macias stated that it is important to make sure to recruit staff matched to the job and who want to work in after school programs. People who only need the job will leave for more money. Michael discussed ways to make the job more attractive by partnering with businesses to provide discounts such as Gottschalk’s and Wal Mart.
Items for the Next Advisory Committee Meeting – Action
- Update on fall 21st CCLC RFA release
- Update on a possible spring ASES RFA
- California After School Demonstration Projection update
Next Meeting Date, Wednesday, December 3, 2008 – Action
Approved by the committee.
Deborah Woods, California After School Resource Center (CASRC) Executive Director, gave an update. Ms. Woods stated vendors that contact the Advisory Committee are encouraged to refer them to CASRC. The CASRC reviews materials and resources. If these materials and resources are determined to be high quality, they are made available through the lending library and Web site. She mentioned the CDE has a blurb and e-mail signature available that Kathie Scott can make available to members. The request for applications for the 2008-09 material review board is on the CASRC Web site. Ms. Woods informed members that if they know people who would like to review materials, to encourage them to apply. The CASRC wants to appoint about 60 reviewers for the year. The reviewers will help make sure materials are useful, appropriate, and available to the field.
Ms. Woods also gave an update on training. Training is currently available for after school physical activity and nutrition. This training includes tips, tools, and resources and has been reviewed by the CDE. The physical activity training is on the CASRC Web site and nutrition training should be up shortly. There are regional trainings available, and they are free. The CASRC is hoping to provide a high quality cadre of trainers and also building online capacity once trainings are done. The Chair welcomed Loren Tarantino and wished Diane Levin luck on her new assignment.
There being no further comments, the Chair closed the meeting at 12:10 p.m.