After-school programs aimed at helping children from low-income families have survived changes at the White House, in Congress and even some attempts to pull funding when the Every Student Succeeds Act was adopted in 2015.

With the first confirmation vote for a new secretary of education scheduled for Wednesday, advocates and providers of out-of-school time activities are hopeful that the programs will continue without interruption, even if some tweaks are inevitable.

“It’s certainly something we’ve been following and we’re talking to folks on the Hill, but I don’t think anyone really knows for sure what to expect,” said Erik Peterson, vice president of policy for the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for programs that support children during OST. “ESSA is the law of the land, and I don’t see that changing. But the new secretary has a lot of levers at her disposal in terms of setting priorities and spending decisions.”

The Every Student Succeed Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind program, included a definition of expanded school time, something that hadn’t been done in any previous legislation. The new law also continued funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which were established in 2002. The program, which had a $1.1 billion budget in 2016, is designed to improve literacy, provide training in arts, music and other activities and provide a safe environment for students.

Read the entire article at Youth Today.


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