|Posted:||January 12, 2023 02:18 PM|
|From:||Representative Michael H. Schlossberg and Rep. Kathleen C. Tomlinson|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Let’s Give Our Kids A Boost|
|Investing in our children’s education is more than just bolstering funds for classroom hours. It is also about investing in quality before-and after-school programs as well as summer programs that create transformative learning experiences for kids across Pennsylvania.
Research shows that Pennsylvania saves $6.69 for every $1 invested in out-of-school time (OST) programs. This nearly 7 to 1 return on investment emanates from the benefits of reduced substance use, violent crime, teen pregnancies, and high school dropout rates. Additionally, these programs prepare young people for the world ahead by fine tuning their social skills, improving their school attendance, and developing career paths.
If cost and lack of program access wasn’t an issue, more than 775,000 Pennsylvania kids would be enrolled in before-and after-school programs. To put it simply, for every child enrolled in an OST program, four more kids are waiting to get in.
To break down these barriers and act upon the recommendation of the Joint State Government Commission, we will be introducing legislation to create the “Building Opportunity through Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Program” within the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This program will create a dedicated, sustainable funding stream from the General Fund to support quality OST programs for kids from every zip code.
Eligible community based non-profit organizations and statewide youth-serving non-profits who provide the following services would receive funding through BOOST:
· Improving social, emotional, academic or vocational competencies of school-age youth;
· Preventing and reducing teen pregnancies;
· Reducing negative behaviors such as violence and crime, tobacco use, alcohol and substance abuse, disengagement from school, school suspension and truancy, and health-compromising behaviors;
· Providing parents with a safe OST environment for their children;
· Allowing school-age children to engage in career exploration and formal or informal apprenticeships; and/or
· Any other services approved by PDE.
Please join us to help provide our kids with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
Introduced as HB795