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Policy updates

National Policy

  • To stay updated on the current federal legislation, visit the Afterschool Alliance’s Policy webpage.

  • The only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to afterschool programs. Learn about its funding history, program outcomes and the types of programs supported by this initiative.

  • ESEA is the law authorizing education programs, including 21st CCLC, Supplemental Education Services (SES) and other initiatives that support afterschool programs. ESEA, formerly No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is currently in the process of being reauthorized by Congress, meaning that the goals and suggested funding levels of these efforts are being reviewed for changes.

  • Information about key legislation and initiatives where afterschool STEM has the opportunity to gain funding and support.

  • The Child Care and Development Block Grant (S. 1086, CCDBG) Act of 2014 was the first reauthorization of CCDBG since 1996. S. 1086 had bipartisan support and advocacy from supporters of child care, afterschool programs and early education.

State Policy

  • 2017 Legislative Session

    In the Appropriations Committee Senator Rick Kolowski (District 31) introduced LB 270, a bill to provide $750,000 in funding to support the ELO Opportunity grant program. If enacted, this new funding would add to the $250,000 that the Legislature authorized last year, funding which is being used to support new program partnerships in communities across the state. Jeff Cole, Network Lead for Beyond School Bells, recently testified on LB 270 before the Appropriations Committee. In his testimony, Jeff shared the results of a national study that found that ELO’s have been successful in helping young people develop an identity as STEM learners. The study also found that Nebraska youth showed the most gains in several key indicators from the 11 states that participated in the study. Here is a link to a write-up for the testimony Jeff gave at the Legislature:

    In the Education Committee, Senator Adam Morfeld (District 46) introduced LB 246, a bill which would allow districts to exceed their budget authority (but not their property tax levy limit) to support ELO programs through a vote of their elected, local school boards. For districts with student populations over 1000 students the exemption could reach $100,000; for districts with 1000 students or less, the exemption could be up to $50,000. BSB is very supportive of this local control, pro-ELO bill and glad to report that it made it out of the Education Committee with a 5-3 vote.

  • 2016 Legislative Session: Nebraska Lawmakers Invest in ELOs

    On March 30th, 2016, Governor Ricketts approved the Legislature’s 2016 budget, which includes a one-time $250,000 investment in the newly developed grant program for Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) programs. This grant program, administered by the Nebraska Department of Education, was established last session with 1% of lottery fund proceeds. This year’s investment will help grow ELO programs around the state so that more youth have out of school time learning opportunities that provide essential learning and youth development opportunities. With this one-time investment, the Legislature is allowing the Department to support catalyst-type projects illustrating the importance of ELOs powered by school-community partnerships and which explore the potential of these programs to support student growth and development across the state.

  • 2016 Legislative Session: ELO Grant Hearing

    On February 9th, 2016, Beyond School Bells joined several ELO stakeholders in providing testimony at a hearing of the Nebraska Legislature’s Appropriations Committee in support of LB 1074, Senator Rick Kolowski’s bill to provide $1 million for the newly developed state grant program for ELO programs. This grant program was established by the Legislature last session, and will be launched later this year. Currently this program will be funded with Lottery proceeds. This bill aims to grow this investment so that more youth have the opportunity to participate in these important programs. This hearing provided the first opportunity for us to make the case for the need to invest in ELO programs with this important committee of our Unicameral. We will keep you posted as this bill moves through the Legislative process.

  • Provisions/portions of LB379 was amended into LB519, which passed and was recently signed into law. LB 519 included for the first time in Nebraska, a definition of Expanded Learning Opportunity programs and created a grant program to support these programs in the future. Funding for these programs is set at 1% of the education funds generated by the State Lottery. This program will be implemented in the summer of 2016 and the Department of Education is currently determining a process to take advantage of this new funding opportunity.

  • LB 379 seeks to expand funding available to support Nebraska’s Expanded Learning Opportunity programs. Importantly it would, for the first time in Nebraska law, define ELOs and create a structure for a future grant program to both sustain existing high quality ELO programs and expand programs in underserved, high need rural and urban schools across the state.

  • Following public hearings held across the state in October 2014, the Education Committee of the Nebraska Legislature developed the following draft of a common vision for education.

  • LR 546 seeks to give ELO program supporters multiple opportunities to add their voices to discussions about how we can grow and sustain these important school-community partnerships in communities across our state.

  • This bill represents the first major statewide move to make ELOs a part of the policy agenda.

  • The NE State Board of Education issued a Policy Statement in 2013 that highlights the importance of ELOs in Nebraska.