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 Schools Get Money for After-School, Summer Programs

Schools across San Diego County will get about $4 million to bolster student learning outside of regular school hours during the 2014-15 school year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced June 26 that 333 programs across the state will receive $51 million in state and federal grants to provide expanded learning opportunities for students.

"Children are always learning, and their families should have access to high-quality programs that support that learning," Torlakson said. "These grants will help schools operate before- and after-school programs, which play an important role in keeping kids safe, while also helping them build their skills for the world that awaits them."

Expanded learning refers to summer, intersession, vacation, and before- and after-school programs. Research on expanded learning programs indicates that they can help to increase student attendance in the regular school day, improve academic success, reduce high school dropout rates, and reduce juvenile crime.

In the latest round of funding, $51 million was distributed through three grants: the After School Education and Safety program, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers—Elementary and Middle Schools program, and the 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens program.

 "As is often the case with these valuable programs, the demand for funding outstrips the resources available," Torlakson said. "But after-school programs have been a priority of mine since my legislative days, and I'll continue my push to get them the support they need."

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.