Budget legislation moved forward in Annapolis this week when the Maryland Senate passed a nearly $37 billion budget on March 20.  This budget restores some education funds to eight rural and exurban counties, but leaves Montgomery County and others in metro DC out of allocations that ranged from $105,000 to $2.1 million.

Montgomery County isn’t alone in seeking additional resources for students. News reports from Philadelphia and New York show funding issues are top of mind for educators.

More than ten thousand children in Philadelphia attend schools closing this summer,

CBS-3 TV reports, and there is no funding for them to attend afterschool activities in the coming year.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Education leaders there are hoping a public-private option may allow them to offer afterschool services, not unlike what Flex Academies has done in Montgomery County.

A foundation in Philadelphia is charged with raising funds “to fund chess, debate, Scrabble, and drama teams at the receiving schools,” says the group’s executive director.

There are no guarantees that funds will be available when school starts this fall, a situation that Flex Academies never allows because we provide revenue to parent organizations and ensure that our partners provide a well-rounded enrichment program.

Cuts proposed by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are putting 37,000 kids at risk of having no afterschool programs.  “Youth Today” reports that Bloomberg cut New York funding for afterschool programs by $56 million last year, a decision changed by the City Council using discretionary funds that run out this year with no other options readily available.

Harvard Family Research Project director Heather Weiss, citing a study we reported last month, suggested that the rate of troubled teens would increase without afterschool activities.  “We need to understand what research is telling us,” Weiss said. “Kids don’t learn in school alone.”

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