- Simone Braithwaite
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Wendy Carrillo (D – Los Angeles) have introduced legislation to support California’s goal of universal afterschool program access.
Assemblymember McCarty’s bill, AB 2507, will improve access to afterschool programs for middle and high school youth, while Assemblymember Carrillo’s bill, AB 2501, will address implementation challenges and develop a roadmap toward universal access for afterschool and summer programs.
California has made universal afterschool programs a clear priority, investing $1.7 billion in the 2021 Budget growing to $5 billion by 2025. However, all of this new funding is prioritized for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
“California’s middle and high-school students deserve to have a safe, enriching place to be afterschool where they can gain experiences and develop skills that will help them succeed in school, career, and life,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. “AB 2507 will ensure that youth in middle and high school are not left out by prioritizing a portion of existing funds for students in grades 7-12.”
“Numerous studies have shown that afterschool programs boost school attendance and outcomes. Universal Afterschool Programs will build on last year’s work in the budget to expand quality afterschool programs to California students from all walks of life by focusing on what works. By engaging with all stakeholders, these bills aim to construct a framework ensuring that the unique needs of socio-economically disadvantaged families, students of color, English Language Learners, and students experiencing homelessness are met,” said Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. “Most urgently, as we recover from COVID-19, we know low income communities were hit hardest, especially those lacking broadband access. The digital divide created a larger achievement gap. Parents need additional support and students need additional resources to catch up, learn and reach their potential.”
Students who participate in afterschool programs are more likely to graduate high school, have lower rates of suspension and expulsions, and are less likely to become involved in the criminal justice system or abuse substances. Ensuring youth have access to afterschool programs will increase educational equity, academic growth, meet the needs of working families, and provide a safe and engaging place that promotes the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of students.
Kevin McCarty represents California’s 7th Assembly District, which include the cities of Sacramento, West Sacramento and unincorporated Sacramento County. McCarty serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. Website of Assemblymember Kevin McCarty: https://a07.asmdc.org/