California ranked #1 in after school programs

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced that California leads the nation in after school programs, placing first among all states in a national survey released Thursday by the Afterschool Alliance.
“The good news is, because we have followed through on our long-term commitment to invest in our children, California has the largest network of after school programs in the country,” Torlakson said. “These programs are helping our children learn and stay safe after school, while helping working parents keep their jobs. The challenge is that many more children still need to be served.”
Torlakson celebrated California’s number one ranking with students, parents, community leaders, and advocates Thursday in a visit to the after school program at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood.
The Alliance gave California its top ranking in the 2014 edition of its “America After 3PM” survey, singling the state out for both strong participation among students and high satisfaction with after school programs among parents. It found that expanded learning participation in California had increased to 25 percent, compared to 19 percent in 2009, with more than 1.6 million students enrolled.
The survey also found that 92 percent of California parents were satisfied with the quality of care of their child’s after school program, up from 83 percent in 2009.
“Superintendent Torlakson has spearheaded efforts to make California number one in the nation,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “He created a statewide after school initiative within the California Department of Education that has increased quality and access to after school programs across this state. California stands head and shoulders above the rest of the country, not only for the percentage of students it serves, but for its emphasis on making high-quality after school programs a state priority. From extraordinary STEM programs, to service learning, to its trailblazing literacy programming, California has done an amazing job with afterschool programs.”
The Alliance’s report also noted California’s work to emphasize the quality of programs, including Torlakson’s move to create an After School Division within the California Department of Education (CDE) and to develop a strategic plan to build on the state’s investments in expanded learning. The CDE also recently completed development of new Quality Standards for Expanded Learning programs.
A teacher and long-time track and cross-country coach, Torlakson has long been a champion of after school programs. Legislation he authored led to the creation and expansion of these programs.
California’s expanded learning programs today reach about 4,500 schools around the state. They are, in large part, funded through voter-approved Proposition 49, which guarantees $550 million annually for the state’s After School Education and Safety Program. California administers another $120 million in federal after school program funds.
For more information about expanded learning, visit the CDE After School Division’s California Expanded Learning Programs Facebook Web page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *