Friday, March 6, 2020

W.S. after-school programs could face cuts

            At the end of the school day for the past 20 years students have been playing, drawing, learning music and making friends at schools and community centers across the West Side. Some have been receiving counseling, others have been getting help with homework.
            All of this might come to an end should the federal budget cut the funding it gives to these programs through the state.
            President Donald Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal released Feb. 10, includes a $19.4 billion block grant that states would receive. The administration would adjust how states fund programs that support disadvantaged K-12 students. This would be done by combining 29 programs which would mean a decrease of about eight percent of the U.S. Department of Education funding.
            Programs that could be affected include those associated with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs’s West Side locations: Butler-Mitchell Clubhouse on Massachusetts Avenue, Jon locations at Butler-Mitchell Clubhouse, John F. Beecher Clubhouse on 10th Street and the Elmwood Village Charter School on Days Park.
            The U.S. Congress has been supportive of such funding, but the President’s budget proposal would eliminate it, said Jillian Luchner, policy manager of the Afterschool Alliance, which performs research for the community learning centers.
            “There will no longer be funding,” Luchner said, “and the students will go to zero.”  By Dasha Hicks and Maria J Lascarro