Each year, the South Carolina General Assembly discusses issues that impact out of school time programs in the state. Knowing what issues are being discussed is an important step in advocating for out of school time programs and protecting our children.
Abbeville vs. South Carolina
This Supreme Court Case ruled inadequate public education in 34 school districts across South Carolina. Speaker of the House of the House of Representatives Jay Lucas commissioned the House Education Policy and Reform Taskforce. This taskforce included elected officials, education and business leaders, and representatives of the plaintiff districts; all of whom worked together to make recommendations on how to improve education in the 34 school districts. Read the Final Report submitted in December 2015.
There are dozens of bills impacting out of school time programs; below are bills needing our immediate support!
South Carolina began a new legislative session on January 10, 2017.Returning and newly elected officials will begin to improve and create new legislation, potentially impacting afterschool and summer learning programs. Please stay tuned to this page for current information.
Strengthening Career and Technical Education for 21st Century Act
The House Committee on Education and Workforce has release the “Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, a bi-partisan bill updating the Perkins career and technical education (CTE) legislation, last authorized in 2006. The proposed update includes many positive changes that recognize and support the work afterschool and summer learning providers are doing to help students enter the workforce prepared and ready for well-paid, in-demand careers. View bill.
How is afterschool connected? This bill connects afterschool by explicitly including community based organizations as entities eligible to receive funds, expands eligibility to begin at 5th grade (instead of 7th).
Every Student Succeeds Act
New Resource: ESSA Toolkit by Afterschool Alliance
View SCAA Press Release on the ESSA Statewide Implementation Virtual Meeting/Webinar.
The implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides tremendous opportunity for organizations to elevate the importance of afterschool and summer learning programs with key audiences and secure additional out-of-school time resources.This online toolkit and playbook are designed to help out-of-school time stakeholders understand which parts of the new law have the most potential to support afterschool and summer learning programs.
Child Nutrition Reauthorization impacts afterschool and summer programs:Read the bill
- Streamlines summer and afterschool meal coordination, which will allow afterschool meal sites to choose to operate year-round through the Summer Food Service Program.
- Includes summer and afterschool meals in the Farm to School program
- A role is included for afterschool programs in the nutrition education portion of the bill
- Creates the opportunity for a six state pilot program that would allow summer food sponsors to provide a third meal, particularly important for summer learning programs that provide programming for children six to eight hours per day
Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)
On November 19, 2014, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 was signed into law. The law reauthorized the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program for the first time in 18 years and made expansive changes to protect the health and safety of children in child care, promote continuity of access to subsidies for low-income families, better inform parents and the general public about the child care choices available to them, and improve the overall quality of early learning and afterschool programs. As part of the new law, the State must have both pre-service (during an orientation period) and ongoing minimum health and safety training requirements in place for child care providers who serve children receiving CCDF assistance, the training must cover the following topics: View FREE online trainings.
- Prevention and control of infectious diseases
- SIDS and the use of safe sleep practices
- Administration of medication
- Prevention of and response to food allergies
- Building and physical premises safety
- Prevention of shaken baby syndrome & abusive head trauma
- Emergency preparedness & response planning
- Storage of hazardous materials & bio-contaminants
- Precautions in transporting children
- First-aid and CPR
- Nutrition and physical activity
Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) grantees might find this information helpful as they prepare their plans and consider policies to promote developmental screenings in child care programs.
Some provisions especially relevant to afterschool programs include:
- School-age child care ratios
- Group size limits
- Quality standards
- Healthy and safety standards
- Ensuring a continuum of care from early childhood programs into school age programs.
- Licensing and license exempt requirements for physical space
- Inclusion of afterschool networks on advisory committees
- Family income exit limits
- Family contributions/ fees
- Provider reimbursement rates
National Afterschool Blog
Advocacy vs. Lobbying
Advocacy and lobbying are effective ways to create awareness about how a community is impacted, either positively or negatively, by public policy and to generate interest in and support for an organization’s mission.
What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is educating and creating awareness among legislators and the general public of issues facing the community and the importance of aligning public policy to address the need. Advocacy does not endorse or oppose specific legislation, but rather informs the community at large how public policy decisions impact service provision.
What is Lobbying?
Lobbying is attempting to influence legislators to support or oppose a particular issue or piece of legislation and is allowed for non-profits within certain parameters.
Abbeville County School District: This case involves the South Carolina Constitution’s requirement that there be a system of free public schools that affords each student the opportunity to receive a minimally adequate education.