New York City Council considers universal after-school programs

Margaret Chin at the New York City Council's Committee on Youth Services.
Margaret Chin at the New York City Council's Committee on Youth Services.
John McCarten / New York City Council

New York City Council considers universal after-school programs

Cost may be a barrier to getting support for expanding after-school to public schools.
January 16, 2020

A New York City Councilman is pushing for the city to expand its after-school programs to all public schools, though the cost of implementation remains a barrier, Patch reports. 

The bill spearheaded by Councilman Ben Kallos – which was discussed during a Tuesday hearing – would guarantee an after-school slot for every public student from the age of three to 21. The number of students waiting to participate in an after-school program in New York is nearly double the number of those actually enrolled in such programs, according to the Afterschool Alliance. A little under half of all New York City public schools offer free publicly funded after-school programs, often through nonprofit providers contracting with the city. 

Several such organizations backed the proposal, arguing it would help parents youth. 

“Their kids not only need the enrichment and extra education that comes from an after-school program, but they need the care – they need to know that they’re somewhere that’s safe and nurturing and child-friendly,” said Gregory Brender of United Neighborhood Houses, according to NY1. But the cost is likely to be a barrier to garnering support: The city Department of Youth and Community Development would have to spend $250 million to adopt the plan.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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