Author: Steve Amick

Part 2: The Great ASES Augmentation of 2017 – A Children’s Story

In 2015, Sir Mark Leno from the village of San Francisco introduced a bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. By now, the full resources of CA3 were focused on the issue, but that still amounted to very little in comparison to the magnitude of the quest. The Partnership for Children and Youth, a longtime member of CA3 led by Lady Jennifer of Peck, was called upon to lead the campaign an...

Part 1: The Great ASES Augmentation of 2017 – A Children’s Story

Gather around, children, and I’ll tell you a story. What kind of story, you ask? Is it a scary story? Is it a funny story? A magical story? No. It’s better than that. It’s the best kind of story there is. It’s a story about policy change. ASES to be exact. Our story begins way back in the year 2006. Do any of you remember that year? Some of you may have been quite young. A traveling minstrel named...

The Rise of the Showman Empire: A Seussian Recap of the 2016 Election

A crazy thing happened November the eighth That boggled my senses and battered my faith In the goodness of people, the size of our brains, To vote for a con man who rants and complains That the reason your life isn’t all it should be Is because of some Syrian war refugee. Who knew that the best way to win an election Was wage a campaign filled with hate and rejection? His words were as racis...

Parent Education

My son Oliver celebrated his seventh birthday on Monday. He has reached a stage in his development where he equates the value of his own opinions with those of his parents. Our word is no longer accepted as absolute truth. Every statement of fact is met with skepticism. Every directive requires supporting rationale. It’s pretty annoying. But something happened yesterday that made me wonder i...

My Why: Serving From Behind the Scenes

Most people in the expanded learning field would be able to answer the question, “Do you know your why?” without much trouble, but I’ll be really honest with you. I didn’t find my “why” until I had worked in this field for a while. I got my first job in an after-school program by answering a classified ad in January of 1992. Why did I apply? Mostly because I had...

ASES Programs Caught in a Fiscal Squeeze

In November, 2002, California citizens passed Proposition 49, which requires the Legislature to annually appropriate not less than $550 million to the California Department of Education for the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program. The Proposition passed with a financial trigger that delayed the release of the appropriation until the 2006/07 fiscal year. The funding has been level sinc...

The Unintended Impact of Minimum Wage Increases on After-School Programs

I will assume that most of you reading this post, like me, applauded Governor Brown’s September, 2013, decision to sign into law a bill that will raise California’s minimum wage from $8 to $9 beginning on July 1, 2014, and then to $10 beginning on January 1, 2016. And I will also assume that most of you figured the primary beneficiaries of this decision would be minimum wage workers – ...

Allegiance

Last Friday, I took my son to school. There was a car accident on a major thoroughfare and traffic was diverted to side streets. As a result, our ten minute drive became twenty and we arrived just in time for the school’s weekly “flag ceremony.” (Actually, it would be more accurate to say that we delayed it for about sixty seconds while the principal waited patiently for me to de...

From the Other Side of the Counter

A few weeks ago, Jan and I had a meeting with our son’s preschool teacher to review Oliver’s Kindergarten Readiness Assessment. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. When I was a kid, being “Kindergarten-ready” meant you were five. Today, apparently, it’s all about whether or not you can properly grip a pencil. I thought that was something you were supposed...

The Five Stages of Post Application Rejection Syndrome

On May 3, the California Department of Education posted its “Intent to Award” list for Cohort 7 of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs, and like many of my colleagues I was disappointed to learn that none of the applications I had helped to prepare were on it. Having spent the last few years working as an intermediary, it had been some time since I’d had a person...

Marketing to the Middle

In California, state and federally funded after-school programs that fail to meet their attendance targets are subject to grant reduction. In the most recent round of adjustments, middle level schools received a disproportionate share of the cuts. While they receive only about a quarter of the ASES and 21st CCLC funds allocated to K-9 schools, they accounted for more than half of the reductions. C...

“It’s probably time for an upgrade.”

OK, so let me tell you about last weekend. The refrigerator that my wife, Jan, and I inherited from the previous owners of our home is over ten years old. It’s a good model and it’s served us very well, but during the last year we’ve had to repair it three times. On the most recent occasion, the technician gave us the gloomy prognosis – “It’s probably time for an upgr...

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