Proposed Federal budget cuts threaten after school and summer programs in California. State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has forcefully opposed the budget cuts, and spoken out about the benefits of summer and after school programs. Recently, he visited a summer learning program at Robla Elementary School near Sacramento, to see the impact the program has on the local community, and highlight the importance of summer learning for California students.
The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide an overview of the potential impact summer learning programs have on California’s schoolchildren. Summer programming has become more achievable for districts due to the flexibility provided by the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).
The research is clear that summer and after-school programs provide numerous benefits to students. According to a study by John Hopkins University, during the summer months children living in low-resource communities who are not engaged in activities tend to fall into a “summer slide,” while their peers from more economically advantaged communities build skills that will help them succeed. Students without positive summer activities lose nearly two months of competency in reading, and these losses are cumulative. By ninth grade, summer learning loss accounts for nearly two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading. Also well-documented are the negative impacts on health: youth without summer learning programs gain weight at a higher rate than during the school year. This is particularly true for children and youth of color and those who are already overweight.
On April 11th, the California Department of Education’s Expanded Learning Division released the Intent to award funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC Elementary and Middle School) and 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) programs contingent upon the availability of federal funds, and subject to change based upon the grant appeal process.
On August 25, 2016, The Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Science hosted a panel on summertime opportunities in Washington DC. The workshop validated the value of a summer learning approach not only for student academic achievement, but also for students’ health outcomes. A report outlining the workshop was just published.
The report describes the pressing social issues that impact student learning, including poverty and inequity, and examine the ways in which expanded learning can help remove some of the associated barriers.
The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is excited about the commitment of communities all over the country to shape smarter summers, brighter futures for young people as part of the Summer Opportunity Project (SOP).
A growing movement of educators across California have signed on as champions of high-quality and engaging summer learning. Will you?
Stand with dozens of educators from across California in calling on superintendents, school board leaders, principals, policy makers, business leaders, child advocates, parents and students to join the growing Summer Matters movement to ensure every child has access to summer learning opportunities that support year-round learning and well-being.
Join us on May 10 at the Sacramento Capitol Building North Steps to rally in support of afterschool programs across the state.
CalSAC’s annual CA Afterschool Challenge aims to educate and empower professionals, youth, and families to engage in grassroots advocacy statewide and locally to advance the out-of-school time field.