LA’s BEST advocates at the local, state and federal level to ensure that elected officials prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable children and families, especially when it comes to out-of-school time.
We are proud to be a member of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance (CA3) Steering Committee, a coalition of organizations dedicated to promoting legislative and administrative policies that enhance the quality and accessibility of afterschool programs in California.
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Together with our partners – the CA3, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council, the LAUSD Board of Education, and others – we are working to create a city, state and nation that truly values and promotes policies that benefit children and families, and gives them the opportunities they deserve to succeed in life and create a brighter future.
Our advocacy successes would not be possible without the support of our community, and we need your voice as we continue this work! If you’d like to get involved, you can join us on social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – to get the latest advocacy news from LA’s BEST.
On March 16th, we joined afterschool supporters from across California to raise our voices and share why afterschool and summer learning programs matter. We were honored to meet with legislative offices and advocate for policies and funding that benefit the communities we serve. Thank you to our LA’s BEST staff, alumni, and board members who participated, and to CalSAC and all the partners who made this event possible!
We kicked off another state budget cycle with good news! In mid-January, Governor Gavin Newsom released his budget proposal, including big new investments into afterschool and summer learning programs.
The budget proposal includes:
- An additional $3.4 billion in ongoing funding for the Expanded Learning Opportunities program, bringing the total funds to $4.4 billion to support access to afterschool and summer learning programs for all elementary school students, with a focus on school districts with the greatest needs
- $937 million in one-time funding to support expanded learning infrastructure, with a focus on integrating arts and music
- $148.7 million for existing expanded learning programs to continue reimbursement rate increases for the After School Education and Safety (ASES) and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs at $10.18 per pupil daily
These are significant and historic proposals that recognize the value expanded learning programs provide for children and families. But, our work is not done! We need to keep up our advocacy efforts to ensure that these investments are intentional, sustainable, and equitable.
This year, we’ll be advocating to:
- Sustain existing afterschool and summer programs by providing a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) and increased rates for all publicly funded expanded learning programs, including ASES and 21CCLC
- Collect essential data and develop a roadmap for California’s expanded learning programs to ensure that the expansion of services is intentional and equitable
- Provide equitable expanded learning opportunities for middle and high school students left out of current proposals
- Extend some pandemic flexibility through 2022, including holding programs harmless from continued fluctuations in attendance this year.
You can read more about these priorities in a statement from the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance (CA3) — the statewide voice for expanded learning programs. LA’s BEST is proud to be a Steering Committee member of CA3 and to work with our partners across the state on these shared goals.