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Author: Steve Amick

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

Minimum Wage Law 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 minimu...

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...

Every Kid Is Our Kid

When I opened my Internet browser last Friday morning and saw the horrific act of violence that had occurred in Connecticut, my impulse was to ignore the report. “Don’t look at it,” I thought. “It’s too horrible to think about.” I had gleaned from first glance that small children were involved. I didn’t want to let those images enter my psyche. Too scary. ...

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 perso...

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...

After-school Programs: “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...

After School Funding – How Can You Help?

Well, it’s that time of year when budget negotiations begin to heat up in Sacramento, and once again, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) is recommending that voters be given the opportunity to amend or repeal Proposition 49. The problem with Prop 49, they say, is its inflexibility. The initiative, which was passed by a 56% majority in November of 2002, guarantees an annual $550 mil...

Protecting Proposition 49 Funding May Not Protect Providers

The section of California Education Code that establishes the After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program describes its purpose as follows: “…to create incentives for establishing locally driven before and after school enrichment programs… that partner public schools and communities to provide academic and literacy support and safe, constructive alternatives for youth.”...

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