Boys & Girls Clubs of Wisconsin: Statement on State Superintendent Tony Evers $20 million proposal for after school programs

Contact: Andrew Gussert (608) 213-8585

MADISON – The Wisconsin Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs endorses kids, not candidates, and supports policies, not political campaigns. Our Clubs work with over 144,000 children at 159 sites across 57 cities, more than any other organization in the state outside of our public school system. When an elected official makes a policy pledge that impacts Wisconsin clubs, we want the public to know, because we want more elected officials supporting kids.

We applaud State Superintendent Tony Evers commitment to invest $20 million in the future of Wisconsin after school programming, including the promise that his future budget would “make an unprecedented $20 million state investment in expanding and supporting high quality afterschool programs. Whether in school, the Boys & Girls Club or the Y, these programs are difference makers in closing the achievement gap and graduating our kids, especially in rural areas.”

Two out of three club kids live outside of Milwaukee and Madison. Inconsistent funding disrupts their programs, stunts learning opportunities, and hurts our rural youth. This change would include a new state component to match the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program, and stabilize this funding. Under the new state program, DPI would be able to fund CLCs the agency would otherwise have to deny if there’s a shortage of federal dollars. Many clubs across the state were denied just such funding last month, and will need to shut down sites.

This pledge offers a return on investment. After school programs save at least three tax dollars for every one spent by reducing the need for remedial education, preventing grade repetition, lowering the drop-out rate, and keeping kids safe. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans think afterschool programs are important. Over 8 in 10 parents (83 percent) support public funding for afterschool programs, and voters say they are willing to use taxpayer money — and even pay more in taxes — to support afterschool programs. (Source: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/Making_the_case_for_afterschool.cf )

Students need dependable, stable adults in their lives to remain safe and reach their full potential, and we encourage all elected officials to support dependable and stable funding streams, in a bipartisan way. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help Wisconsin working families. We applaud all elected officials, from both parties, who support such policies.

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