Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs
Meeting Minutes – January 26, 2009
John D. Malloy, California Department of Education Representative
John L. White
The meeting was called to order at 1:45 p.m. (delayed by an evacuation for a fire alarm).
Review of Meeting Materials
Sandra McBrayer (Chair) gave an overview of the meeting materials.
Approval of Minutes from December 3, 2008, Meeting – Action
A motion to approve the minutes from December 3, 2008, was made by Ana Campos, seconded by Renee Newton, and unanimously approved by the members present.
Introduction of Members
Each member stated their name and the agency they represent for the record.
Michael Funk informed members about a tool kit (The Best of Both Worlds) which may prove useful in aligning after school programs with academic standards. This publication is available through the Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (Outside Source.)
Advisory Committee Chair Report
The Chair informed the Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs (Committee) that there currently are no bills pending that impact before and after school programs. The due date for new bills is Friday, January 30, 2009.
The Chair highlighted advisory members’ roles, and responsibilities, and the Committee’s charge in legislation. One of the main responsibilities of the Committee is to inform the California Department of Education (CDE) about the quality of service and accountability measures. Another is to provide advice on evaluations and outcome measure design. A third responsibility is to provide input regarding the timeliness of funding allocations.
The charge of the Committee is to advise the Office of the Secretary for Education (OSE), State Board of Education (SBE), and the CDE about the provision of best practices. This includes challenges after school programs face that impede providing quality services. The Chair informed the Committee that this issue will be a continuing agenda item.
Member Newton asked if the flow of information from the Committee to the OSE, SBE, and CDE is spelled out in the legislation. The Chair responded the OSE has a member on the Committee and staff also attends the meeting. The Chair noted the SBE meeting agenda is always very full but the Committee can add items to the SBE meeting agenda as necessary.
California Department of Education Staff Report
After School Programs Update
John Malloy provided the Committee with an update on the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program Request for Applications (RFA) process. The CDE received 100 After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) applications that more than doubled the $20 million available for the ASSETs grant. There is $16 million available for the elementary/middle school grants and $4 million available for the optional family literacy and equitable access grants.
Mr. Malloy projected for the high school grant program, if each applicant requested the maximum of $250,000; the CDE could fund 80 high schools. The CDE receives a total of $130 million per year from the United States Department of Education for the 21st CCLC Program. Mary Hoshiko asked if there is a list of the community-based organizations (CBOs) operating after school programs. Mr. Malloy said he could research this for a future meeting. The CDE was requested to provide this information for both high schools and elementary/middle schools.
Mr. Malloy announced the Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee (OES) met this morning. California Education Code (EC) tasks the CDE to develop standardized procedures and tools to collect outcome indicators in collaboration with the Committee. The OES met regarding these measures. Dr. Deborah Vandell spoke to the OES about the development of outcome measures.
Mr. Malloy reminded the Committee at the last meeting they inquired as to why the CDE decided to enter into an interagency agreement instead of an RFA. Mr. Malloy stated that the CDE has the choice to determine which action would be the most cost effective. The interagency agreement saved money. In addition, the University of California, Los Angeles’ National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, also known as CRESST, has a long history of evaluating after school programs. Although the evaluation is done via an interagency agreement it still is an independent evaluation.
Mr. Malloy provided the members with an update about the annual audit process. Audits are done by the State Controller’s Office (SCO) and not by the CDE. Once an audit finding comes back to the SCO, they notify the CDE Audits and Investigations Unit (AIU) of the finding. The AIU sends findings along with the response from the audited district to the After School Programs Office (ASPO) for input regarding whether the CDE believes the district’s response is adequate. There are three responses: yes, the district response is adequate in such a way that it will correct the problem found by the auditor; no, the response is not adequate; or the response is adequate but the district requires technical assistance (TA) to avoid the problem in the future.
Mr. Malloy reported the number one finding is inadequate documentation of records. The CDE is working with after school Regional Leads to help programs keep adequate records. The second most common finding is programs not operating until 6:00 p.m. The third most common finding is the lack of an early-release policy or late-arrival policy. Another issue is that some districts have an early-release policy but have not informed parents of the policy.
Member Newton asked what percentage of audits have findings. Mr. Malloy responded staff does not know because the after school office only receives findings and not data on districts which do not have findings. Mr. Malloy said staff can ask the SCO, but cannot guarantee they will respond.
The Chair asked the CDE staff to contact the SCO to obtain data on After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program audits. This will allow the Committee to focus their input on major issues.
Carla Sanger asked if the CDE was receiving findings regarding how site coordinators are funded. Mr. Malloy responded this issue is not one of the areas covered in the audit, but it is included in the Categorical Programs Monitoring (CPM) process. Mr. Malloy informed the Committee that the CDE is working on developing additional guidance on this topic. Member Campos asked if there is a financial impact on the agency due to a CPM finding. Mr. Malloy answered audit findings can have a fiscal impact on an agency, but that a CPM finding would result in additional TA being provided.
Mr. Malloy informed the Committee the CDE is working on a more comprehensive response to the site coordinator funding issue. Any major issues resulting from the audits will be addressed with the frequently-asked questions document (FAQ). Mr. Malloy added some audit issues are outside the scope of the Committee.
The members discussed what duties of a site coordinator would be considered direct services and what would be considered administrative costs. Mr. Malloy provided examples of current administrative costs such as sign-in sheets and documentation of attendance. Mr. Malloy told the Committee the CDE will be working on an FAQ regarding administrative costs and direct services for coordinator’s time.
The Chair stated the CDE will develop FAQs to clarify the most common audit findings and CPM issues.
Mr. Malloy informed the Committee due to travel restrictions the last several CPMs have been suspended. Mr. Malloy further explained due to these travel limits, the ASPO has only conducted three or four CPMs this year, so it is impossible to determine if there have been improvements from last year.
Member Funk stated the definitions of direct services and administrative costs for all of our school sites are of great concern. Member Campos also commented on this.
Member Hoshiko added it is important to determine what is required legally and what is interpretation or judgment. She further stated that we do not want to create a situation where it is impossible to operate programs.
Member Sanger explained there is no site coordinator in California that would do a time study if it is not based on any legal requirement.
Member Funk asked Mr. Malloy to bring back to the Committee a definition of direct service versus administrative cost. Member Hoshiko requested information regarding what is mandated.
Mr. Malloy spoke to the Committee about the CDE stance on using ASES funds to operate programs on Saturdays. Mr. Malloy reminded the Committee the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 1674 last fall. The After School Network’s Policy Committee requested the CDE change program policy administratively to effect this change. Mr. Malloy said that EC Section 8482 states the purpose of this program is to establish locally-driven before and after school enrichment programs during schools days, intercession, and vacation days. In his veto message, the Governor expressed his concern that Senate Bill 1674 would expand the scope of Proposition 49 by allowing use of ASES funds on Saturdays. Mr. Malloy stated the CDE believes that allowing ASES funds to be used on Saturdays would need to be done legislatively.
Kathie Scott reported the Conflict of Interest, Form 700, is not necessary for this Committee since they are advisory and do not report to the SBE . Ms. Scott reminded members at the December 2008 meeting they requested an update on the California After School Demonstration Programs (CASDP), what the data tells us and whether the CASDP can be scaled up to serve more programs. Currently, the CASDP as a group are developing a program plan, fine tuning panel presentations about aligning with the regular day, and successful practices. In addition, the CASDP is developing site profiles, developing forms, and processes to record TA services (both requested and provided), and working on materials which will be posted on a Web site for programs to use. The CASDP procedures and protocols are still being developed by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL). The documents will be used by the CDE to analyze program effectiveness. The scalability has not been developed yet. As soon as the data is available, the CDE will share this information with the Committee.
The Committee requested an update about the potential of an ASES RFA. Mr. Malloy stated he is checking with the CDE fiscal offices but has not received all of their input. Mr. Malloy stated the only money for an ASES RFA will be the money freed up from reductions next fiscal year. If the CDE reduces grants in the 2009-10 fiscal year there may be funding available for a new RFA. The Department of Finance will also have input into the decision. Mr. Malloy explained that the CDE will not put out an RFA unless we have some idea about the amount of available funding. The CDE will have a better idea of available funding after programs submit their January 31st attendance report. We are hopeful that there will be no reduction in ASES grants next year.
Member Campos asked Mr. Malloy if he knows how much funding has been voluntarily reduced by ASES grantees. Mr. Malloy stated that he does not know the exact amount, but that is not much. Ms. Scott confirmed that very few agencies have submitted a voluntary reduction. With the current economy, after school programs are looking to many people like a great deal. Mr. Malloy is worried if the CDE releases an ASES RFA without knowing if funding is available, this may cause agencies wanting programs to do all the work involved in planning a new program for nothing.
Member Funk asked about the TA contracts. Mr. Malloy stated the CDE would like to receive input from the Committee, the field, and the CDE English Learners Office. Mr. Malloy said the CDE will be talking more with the field and working directly with the Committee as to what will be helpful for TA. The Chair asked members to e-mail their top four or five suggestions for necessary TA to Mr. Malloy and Ms. Scott and be prepared to discuss these at the next meeting.
Member Campos requested Gordon Jackson, Assistant Superintendent Learning Support and Partnership Division, talk about CDE’s shared vision at the next meeting. Ms. Scott pointed out that the ASPO eNews included the shared vision.
Outcomes and Evaluation Subcommittee Report
Member Newton reported Dr. Deborah Vandell, Chair of the Education Department at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), was present to share her experience conducting after school research and her recent study. Dr. Vandell is working on the outcome measures, presented by Terry Westover at the last meeting. Dr. Vandell has been working in the after school programs field for approximately 30 years and is an expert. Her recent study evaluates promising after school programs and the positive effects of various outcome measures on academic achievement and program achievement.
Dr. Vandell provided members with a handout which they discussed at length. Dr. Vandell spoke about preliminary work a group from UCI and the University of California, Davis are working on involving child outcomes measures that can be used to evaluate various programs. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation provided funding for the outcome measures. The current work is considered Phase 1 and will be used to determine the feasibility of moving forward. Phase 1 will be used to propose a slate of measures and establish a procedure for development of these measures. Once Phase 1 is approved, the group will move forward with Phase 2 which will include pilot and field testing of two measures. These measures include skill development and behavior improvement of students attending after school programs. Dr. Vandell stressed the measures need to be reliable. It is important that the measurements must have similar results when administered on various occasions. The measures must make sense, be meaningful, be easily administered, and have minimal effects on staff. Most of the measures she has used in similar studies can be used in the after school study. The handout provided an array of items to measure improvement. She prefers to survey teachers, students, and program staff.
Member Sanger asked about ceiling effects where a given program is already of high quality and the children may not increase achievement or the increase may not be measurable.
Dr. Vandell said a lot of the high-risk students studied are staying the same as opposed to getting worse. Having the pre and post survey would allow for data which can be dovetailed onto data from students in other schools or not currently in the program. Member Sanger wanted to know how to look at a population of all children before they enroll.
Member Funk is concerned if the measure is too complex, programs will not use it. Member Funk stated we need to consider the capacity of after school programs to use these measures. Member Funk also stated the only way a program could lose funding would be due to low attendance. Mr. Malloy stated no, it would be multiple items that would cause loss of funding. Member Funk asked if any school had lost funding due to low STAR test results. Mr. Malloy replied, “No.”
There was a discussion regarding behavior improvement and recommendations based on data. The evaluation survey should be user friendly, expedient, and valid.
Member Hoshiko shared her experience with surveys and problems getting parents to respond. She stated there are issues with reliability, and pre and post testing is a headache for staff, but the results are worth the effort.
The Chair stated she sees consensus and that the members seemed to give their blessing for this survey. Dr. Vandell thanked the Committee for their time and interest.
Workforce Development Subcommittee Report
The Chair reported the Workforce Development Subcommittee (WDS) met earlier in the day. The WDS determined they would develop a product in partnership with other agencies and organizations working on after school workforce issues and would be similar to the Finance Project’s Making the Match or Getting the Grant. The product would be a “how to recruit and retain after school staff,” and would be developed in partnership with the California Workforce Initiatives Network and the California School-age Consortium. This product would help programs recruit and retain after school personnel. Also included would be how to reach out to mature workers and how to conduct a job fair.
The work group will meet monthly starting in February 2009. The Packard Foundation may provide some funding for someone to work with the work group. The group anticipates that the product will also be available in hard copy.
California Afterschool Network Report
Jeff Davis of the California Afterschool Network (Network) reported the Quality Self-Assessment Tool trainings have been held in all regions except Region 1. Region 1 staff felt the user guide was sufficient and training would not be necessary.
Mr. Davis discussed an event in Sacramento, on for March 17, 2009, will feature Bob Granger from the W.T. Grant Foundation and Nicole Yohalem from the Forum for Youth Investment will be a presentation on making a difference in after school and measuring and improving program quality, which will outline the research on the impact of after school on academics, and social and emotional outcomes. This presentation will cite specific examples on how cities and counties have focused on TA.
Also, the second annual Lights on After School event will be held in Sacramento, at the State Capitol on October 22, 2009. Last year’s event featured the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and Gordon Jackson. In addition, through a grant with the Mott Foundation, the Network will host a conference on November 4-5, 2009, at the Bahia Resort, in San Diego, focusing on high school achievement.
Challenges Before and After School Programs Face Delivering Services
One of the charges of the Committee is to provide input on challenges facing before and after school programs. The Chair asked the group to discuss this issue.
Member Hoshiko asked if the second payment to ASES grantees would be held by the CDE until June 9, 2009. Mr. Malloy responded that this information is not true.
Member Sanger stressed that the Committee would be remiss to not address the enormous challenges due to the economy and its impact on our programs. It is inevitable to deal with quantity and quality. It is very important to provide guidance with cuts being inevitable. The private sector reductions will be dramatic. She stated her disappointment with the CDE not approving weekend funding for ASES programs and the CDE not going forward with a new ASES RFA. After school programs are jeopardizing private funding by not taking advantage of weekend programs.
Member Campos agreed that the CDE interpretation will have a negative impact on programs. In addition, there is much confusion around year-round funding and conflicting information about supplemental funding.
Member Sanger stated that an enormous number of students will be on the streets in Los Angeles because of the change from year-round programs to a traditional school year.
Member Hoshiko stated that many rural districts are challenged by transportation.
Member Newton added after school programs are of value and the members should make recommendations that will reduce obstacles to getting services to students.
Member Funk stated that historically the after school field used to be concerned with safety. In San Francisco, after school programs provide an economic stimulus. After school programs can make it possible for families to go to work. There are waiting lists in the Bay Area and there is value in having a high quality place for children to be until 6 p.m. The Committee needs to focus on an economic stimulus approach.
The Chair added there is a need to focus on high attendance because it relates to children not receiving services. There is a large need. The Committee needs to speak individually and as a whole to legislators and let them know after school programs are of value and they see programs need their funding.
Member Sanger asked how long we will support programs that have low attendance and reallocate funds. This should be needs driven.
The Committee delegated authority to choose the next CDE liaison to the Committee to the Chair.
Items for Next Advisory Committee Meeting
- Request the CDE provide a breakdown of CBO for both elementary/middle and high school programs.
- Request the CDE ask the SCO about the number of after school programs audited and how many of these audits resulted in findings.
- Request the CDE develop FAQs to address common findings, including the issue of funding site coordinators with direct services money.
- The Committee will get back to Ms. Scott and Mr. Malloy prior to March 3, 2009, with their recommendations and priorities for 2009-10 TA and the CDE will report back what these recommendations are.
- Request Gordon Jackson come back and share the common vision.
- Request the CDE provide the legislation or code which references moving funding between core and supplemental.
- Request a report of the CDE strategy for making funding reductions due to low attendance.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, and is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.
Rocio Abundis-Rodriguez, Executive Director of the California After School Technical Assistance (CASTA) project addressed the Committee. Ms Abundis-Rodriguez provided the group with a handout titled “Guiding Principles for Effective Technical Assistance Delivery.” She explained CASTA is developing core competencies, knowledge, and skill sets to define what quality TA looks like. One of CASTA’s goals is to provide effective TA. This document can serve as a good resource and is based on a literature review. Ms. Abundis-Rodriguez stated effective TA should be driven by program outcomes, be locally determined, should promote the transfer of learning, focus on developing leadership, help programs retain staff, help programs align with the regular day, and should be inclusive.
There being no other comments, the meeting was adjourned at 3:58 p.m.
These minutes were approved by the Advisory Committee at their May 18, 2009 meeting.