Funding for Wyoming afterschool programs could be on the federal chopping block.
Most afterschool programs in the state have been supported by more than $5 million in grants provided each year under the federal education law No Child Left Behind. But Congress’s current reauthorization proposals for the law would allow states to spend federal education funding however they want—with no specific money tied to afterschool programs.
Linda Barton is director of the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance. She says districts have other priorities—and that could mean Wyoming programs that have been a part of communities for decades could end.
"These programs make a significant difference in our communities," says Barton. "So, it’s a workforce development issue. It’s an economic development issue. And it is an incredibly powerful system of support for school districts to help meet their school improvement needs as well."
Barton says also, if the proposed changes to the law went through, community organizations and nonprofits, which run many of Wyoming’s afterschool programs, would no longer be able to receive federal grant money to do so.
Barton and other afterschool advocates are meeting Tuesday with Wyoming’s congressional delegation to speak against the proposed changes.