May 2, 2016
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Visits John F. Kennedy High School to Promote After School Funding Legislation
SACRAMENTO—Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson visited John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento today to promote afterschool education and demonstrate support for legislation that would add $73 million a year for these important programs.
Torlakson met with students, staff, and administrators to showcase the school's involvement in the Expanding Student Success Campaign, a statewide initiative to show education leaders the benefits of afterschool programs.
Torlakson also encouraged the Legislature to pass AB 2663 by Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove. The bill would add $73 million for afterschool programs and adjust other funding levels, which have been flat for years despite rising costs and increased demand.
The bill is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
"As a classroom teacher, coach, legislator, and parent, I know that education is a daylong, year-round endeavor. Students simply cannot stop spending their time constructively when school's out," Torlakson said. "Learning doesn't start when the bell rings and end at the schoolyard gate."
Afterschool programs combine rigorous academics, physical fitness, and nutrition.
California has the largest network of after school programs in the United States. The national Afterschool Network ranked California as the best in the country for the 2014-15 school year.
Expanded learning programs provide afterschool and summer learning to nearly 500,000 California's students at nearly 5,000 sites. But that still leaves
1.3 million youth unsupervised during the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Furthermore, demand for expanded learning programs is so great that, if a program were available, about 2.4 million students in California would be enrolled.
Nearly 9 out of 10 state-funded afterschool programs are being negatively impacted by flat funding while minimum wage and other operating costs have increased. More than 8 in 10 California parents agree that afterschool programs help working parents keep their jobs, according to the national Afterschool Alliance.
Torlakson, who served as a state legislator for 14 years, authored a bill in 2006 to increase grant amounts for after school programs.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100