For the 2014-15 school year, over 400 Texas ACE afterschool program sites in Texas are funded by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, a federal grant with the purpose of providing learning opportunities before and after school and during the summer for students across the country. In Texas, this funding is administered by the Texas Education Agency and distributed in five-year cycles.
In past years, TEA has issued a request for proposals (RFP) about once every two years to determine the grantees for the next cycle. This process ensures that there are at least two active cycles in any given school year. However, of the $107 million appropriated to the 21st CCLC program in the fiscal year 2014, only $7.7 million is left over after funding the two current cycles and administrative costs. This amount is less than 25% of the $32 million spent on the most recent full cycle, and not enough to fund a new cycle of grants. In the interim before a full cycle is issued, TEA has selected 14 additional grant applicants from Cycle 8 to fund beginning this school year, the second year of that cycle.
Meanwhile, the expiration of Cycle 6 at the end of July 2014 significantly reduces the accessibility of afterschool programs to students across the state. The chart above shows the effects of the expiring funding on the number of sites that will be funded this year and next year in selected Texas regions. The Texas map shows each 21st CCLC site from the last three cycles, with the expired Cycle 6 sites in red. Click the image for an interactive map that can give you more detailed information about sites in your community.
Many programs that were funded by Cycle 6 have found alternative funding sources to continue providing out of school time services. Sustainability solutions have included direct school board funding in San Benito, a tax measure passed by voters in Temple, use of Title I funds in Birdville, financial support from community partners in Round Rock, and much more. For information on finding sustaining resources for OST programs in your community, visit our Funding and Sustainability Resources page, or contact us directly.