- Andre Perry, a former dean and charter school network CEO, says President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education nominee Besty DeVos have been quiet on funding for after-school programs so far, but he believes providers should be part of the coming conversation.
- Writing for The Hechinger Report, Perry says after-school programs that are not part of districts can take advantage of Trump and DeVos’ choice rhetoric as parents decide where to send their children after school hours.
- In years past, the federal government has funded 21st century community learning centers, but Trump could eliminate that program — and Perry believes it’s imperative that after-school providers place themselves in positions of power for the policy fight, just like charter school leaders have.
Besides the fact that working parents need to find after-school activities for their children to keep them occupied and supervised in the afternoons, educators and service providers have viewed these after-school hours as important enrichment opportunities for students who otherwise wouldn’t have access. If the Trump administration does cut funding to community learning centers, it is not wealthy families who will see the impact. They can pay for their programs. It is low-income families who will be most affected.
Still, it is unclear what exactly the Trump administration will do when it comes to education. The issue was not much-discussed on the campaign trail. On the candidate’s website, opposition to the Common Core was the most prominent policy position, even though as president, Trump will have no say in whether states keep the standards. And he may have limited ability to control school choice efforts in the states, as well.