After School Programs in Michigan Pre-Proposal

PRE-PROPOSAL

1. Media Artifact

After School Programs in Michigan Public Schools 

2. Persona and POV statement

Persona name: Jennifer Williams

Age: 42

School/occupation: Assembly Line Worker 

Location: Southfield, MI 

Quote: “I just want the best for my kids when I can’t be there for them” 

About:

  • Jennifer is a divorced mother of 3 children, ages 5, 8 & 10, who attend a public elementary school and has sole custody of her children. 

  • Jennifer works 6 days a week from 9am – 5pm on Mondays-Fridays and 3pm – 11pm on Saturdays, during peak time, Jennifer works overtime. 

  • When Jennifer is at work and the children are out of school, her 75 year mother who suffers for Alzheimer’s takes care of her children. 

Goals:

  • Jennifer wants to get her children active in community and wishes to enroll them in extracurricular opportunities such as Girl Scout’s, sports activities and academic teams. 

  •  Jennifer hopes to cut down the amount of time spends working but also wants to maintain a steady income to fit the lifestyle necessary to take care of her children.

  •  During summer break, Jennifer wants to take her children to Disney World but must sae up the money to do so.

POV Statement:

  • User: Jennifer is a busy and hardworking single mother . . .

  •  Need: . . . who needs more accessible after school and extracurricular programs for her children . . . 

  •  Insight: In order to allow her children to be successful students, contribute to society and to stay out of trouble. 

3. Potential Solutions:

SOLUTION 1: Offer free or significantly reduced after school programming (and summer programs) to all low income in all Michigan public school districts. Low income students are students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, or students in one parent households who meet certain income requirements. 

SOLUTION 2: Expand the hours of after school & summer programs to accommodate for parents who do not have traditional work schedules. Suggested hours include after the school day – 10pm. 

SOLUTION 3: Provide transportation to and from after school and summer programs that are not located within a child's public school. Increased transportation will allow students to get access to programs that are off-sight and can be used to get students to jobs that might be apart of an after school program initiative.  

SOLUTION 4: Provide 10 state funded paid leave days per year for single parents who work. Paid leave days will allow single parents to spend more time with their children or to attend to their children in case of sickness. 

Background and Research Process

Context

Current/Similar Legislation - 

Tennessee Department of Education Lottery for Education Afterschool Programs (LEAPs) – Tennessee uses lottery profits to directly fund after school programs across the state. There is a similar system in Michigan, however the Michigan Lottery states that money is used to “benefit K-12 education”, instead Michigan should reallocate these funds to adopt a similar system at the Tennessee to provide direct funding for afterschool programs. 

21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Grants - The 21st CCLC grants is funded by the Michigan Department of Education. This programs awards competitive grants to schol districts, universities, nonprofits and faith based organizations to establish community learning centers. These funded community learning centers are essentially after school and summer programs and help to fund such programs across the state. 21st CCLC grants ensure high quality programs because grantees must submit yearly reports. The 21st CCLC grants are effective in the creation of high quality after school programs and summer programs across the state but does not address the issue of the high costs to parents for after school programs who do not recieve the grant. 

The Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116) - PA 116 gives the state the ability to regulate child care organizations, which includes after school and summer programs. Therefore, current regulations (among others) of such programs includes a credidation from the Michigan Afterschool Association (or a similar approved creditation) and the requirement that after school programs must have a supervisor. This legislation gives room to the Model Standard for Out-of-School Time/After-School Programs in Michigan which outlines reccomendations for after school and summer programs to follow to ensure quality.  

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

This proposal will expand opportunities beyond that classroom to students in public K-12 Michigan schools. Low socioeconomic students will benefit the most from this proposal because it addresses gaps that low socioeconomic students disparately face. Additionally, this proposal will help to improve overall student outcomes in Michigan public school. When students have greater access to extracurricular activities, student academic success rates are higher and overall juvenile crime is lower (Durlak et.al, 2007) 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

As a child, both of my parents worked full-time so after school I often participated in programs that included craft class, karate, soccer, cheer and girl scouts. These activities kept me busy while my parents finished their work day and allowed me to become a better person overall. In a recent conversation with my parents, we recalled all these activities and until this conversation, I didn’t know the true cost of these activities. Luckily for me and my family, these activities were available in my community and cost didn’t prevent from participating in them but for many families this is isn’t a reality. 

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

My service activity at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum as a preschool museum docent. Since one of the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum goals are to teach children about science in a fun and interactive environment, as a docent, I helped to oversee the preschool gallery while teaching children about science. This activity allowed me to think about how afterschool programs must be fun and enriching. If students are not having fun while they are developing new schools, learning will not happen. 

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

After School Programs in Michigan Public Schools 

Consultations

Consultation 1: R.J Quiambao – Assistant Director of EMU Bright Futures (awaiting response) 

EMU Bright Futures relies on the 21st CCLC grants to fund after schol programs in 3 communities in Metro Detroit. 

Questions Asked: 

  • What is the basic structure of after school programs offered through Bright Futures? 

    • ​Our afterschool program structure is heavily influenced by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality's methods.  While many of our programs' schedules vary due to various site needs, all sites feature:

      • ​Academic time set aside for homework help, subject help, and enrichment activities.

      • Clubs or other smaller group activities that promote social-emotional learning skills, based on student interests.

      • Reflection and introspection to develop metacognition.

  • About how many students participate in these after school programs? 

    • The number of students per site also varies, based on licensing requirements set by space and adult to student ratio, but all sites are required to serve 30 or more students daily.

  • What types of students participate in these programs? (i.e. socioeconomic status, race, grade) 

    • Our programs are funded by 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, which serve students in low-income schools that perform poorly on state standardized tests.  All of our programs are located along the I-94 corridor, in Wayne-Westland, Romulus, and Ypsilanti community school districts, in grades K-12.   Demographics can change according to district, but the majority of our students are black and qualify for free and reduced lunch.

  • Do families have to pay for such school programs? 

    • Programs are fully funded by the 21st CCLC grant, from the Michigan Department of Education.  We are FREE!

  • Do you find that students enrolled in after school programs are higher or lower achieving?

    • While the schools we are in do not achieve high on state standardized tests, many of our students have shown academic improvement through participation in our programs.  We work closely with school day teachers to help students stay on top of their learning and assignments.

  • Why do some programs have age restrictions? What is the rationale for choosing these grades/ages? 

    • Not sure why some programs have age restrictions, as we serve K-12.  I would imagine it could be due to day care licensing restrictions or proper adult to student ratios dictated by student age.

  • ​Where do you see Bright Futures expanding in the future? Do you see Bright Futures expanding to districts that are high performing but still serve underprivileged children?

    • We have recently expanded to 25 sites.  It can be complicated managing and supporting all of our staff and students across three districts.  We have no current plans to expand further.

  • How do you think the state of Michigan can be helpful in the development and operation of Bright Futures?

    • The Michigan Department of Education sets specific guidelines for the grants that fund all of our programs.  The priorities of those grants can change from cycle to cycle.  We report on our progress on those priorities annually.

Consultation 2: Jessica Hearn - Single mother from Detroit, MI (my POV & Persona were based off of Jessica) 

Questions & Responses - 

  •   Do your children participate in afterschool programs or sports?

    •  “My oldest child participates in dance through the school but my other children do not go to after school care because it is too expensive”

  •  How do you pick your children up from these activities (and/or get them there)? 

    • “My oldest daughter takes dance at school and I usually pick her up after it is over at 5:30. Depending on the day, my other two children get picked up from school by either my sisters, mother or will walk a couple blocks to meet my mother at her job.”

  • Does cost play a factor in which activities your children participate in?

    • “Yes, if things costs less, I would put my children in after school care or allow them to participate in other things at the school” 

  •  What do you think are the benefits of putting your children in after school/extracurricular activities? 

    • “I think after school programs help my children socially and expand their skill set beyond the classroom” 

  •  How many hours per week do you work?

    •  40 hours a week, from 9am – 5pm in a local manufacturing plant

    •  “I am lucky to be able to work this shift, in order to get to my children on time” 

Consultation 3: TerI Banas - Communications Director of Michigan After School Partnership (awaiting response)

The Michigan After School Partnership (MASP) works with/lobbies the state of Michigan to ensure after school programs are high quality. MASP also provides resources to parents to find after school programs in their community. 

Questions Asked: 

  • How can after-school programs overall be improved throughout the state?

  • What are some of MASP goals in addressing the costs of after school programs? 

  • In what ways can after school programs become more accessible for low income students? 

  • Where do you see MASP expanding in the future? 

  • How do you think the state of Michigan can be helpful in the development and operation of MASP? 

Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

After reading my Persona and POV statement, Brandon mentioned that parent’s income and the hours that a parent works contributes to missed opportunities of their child. Therefore, this comment inspired me to include a policy proposal that provides paid leave days for single parents to spend time with their children. Additionally, Brandon mentioned how some school districts might not have transportation already in place for normal school hours, so it is important to make a more convincing argument for transportation and other benefits that transportation might provide. This comment influenced me to describe in more detail how transportation will work in my proposal. Beyond Brandon’s specific comments, his feedback allowed me to be more detailed and clear in my proposal. 

Research process:

My research process began by collecting initial information about the topic. In this research I looked at current legislation, after programs at Michigan school districts and costs associated with afterschool programs. This initial evidence helped me to craft my initial media artifact. Afterward, I did more in depth research which included looking into scholarly articles about the benefits associated with after school programs and more detailed research about current Michigan legislation. This phase of research also included choosing consultants and developing questions for the consultants. My in depth research was helpful in crafting better solutions for my proposals. During my research, my biggest roadblock was how I would argue for funding these programs, however, after reading about the Tennessee law, I realized that using lottery profits is a good way to better fund these programs. 

Author contributions: Brianna Morigney wrote the entire proposal independently but relied on consultants and feedback from MSC classmates and topic coordinators to get ideas. 

FORMAL PROPOSAL

Preambulatory clauses

WHEREAS.... students who are left unsupervised after school are more likely to be involved in crime and experience lower academic outcomes. 

WHEREAS.... only 18% of students are able to participate in afterschool however, 40% (about 19.4 million students worldwide) of students would participate in after school programs if costs were lower. 

WHEREAS.... the average weekly costs for afterschool are $114, this is equivalent to $4,446 per school year.  

WHEREAS.... the costs and lack of appropriate afterschool disproportionately impact low income and minority (African American & Latinx) communities. 

Operative clauses

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1. Establish low cost afterschool programs in all Michigan school districts. All afterschool will operate until 10pm on M-F. For days and times outside of this frame, subsidized vouchers for babysitting services will be given to families who qualify for Michigan Child Development and Care (CDC) Program. 

2. Mandate that all after school (including those not established by the state) are high quality by requiring year end reports from each school districts and implementing routine in-person checks. All programs will be requried to meet Michigan After School Programs (MASP) and the Model Standard for Out-of-School Time/After-School Programs guidelines. In addition to these guidelines, these programs will have highly trained staff who are already K-12 teachers, have an associates degree or a high school diploma to ensure high quality programs. 

3. State imposed afterschool programs will be funded using the School Aid Fund that uses profits generated by the Michigan Lottery. Although the School Aid Fund already provides assistance to schools, 1.17% of these funds must be redistributed and along with a 3 cent per dollar increase in the money that goes towards schools from the lottery to ensure some funding goes toward after school programs. 

Counter-arguments:

1. What if certain school districts do not have a need for after school or summer programs (i.e. students will not participate)? 

2. What will happen to the things that are currently funded by Michigan Lottery profits in schools? 

3. How will you account for programs that become over crowded?

Costs and funding:

The primary source of funding will come from profits generated by the Michigan Lottery system. Profits from the Michigan Lottery already provides about 1 billion dollars per fiscal year to schools via the School Aid Fund. So, this proposal will redistribute part these funds so that they directly support afterschool programs. There are currently 587 school districts in Michigan's. Therefore, I estimate that establishing such programs in every school districts would cost $20,000 (excluding teacher pay) per program per year which equals 11.7 million dollars in total (a mere 1.17% of the school aid funding). It is important to note that the 11.7 million dollar estimate is a conservative estimate given that there are already 259 afterschool cites in 20 Michigan counties that are supported by CCLC grants, where new after school programs will not be necessary. Using the average operating costs of a child care centers, my estimations per programs are as follows: 

Educational Supplies: $7,000

Food/Snacks: $3,000

Physical Equipment (i.e. tables, chairs): $3,000

Maintenance Expenses (i.e. utilities & other building costs): $4,000

Miscellaneous/Other Expenses: $3,000

*Estimations are based on the enrollment of 75 students with the assumption that programs will be established in existing school or school district buildings.  

Additionally, I propose a $25,200 salary per year per teacher (given $20 per hour for 7 hours per day for 180 school days). The Michigan Out-of-School Standards of Quality says that student-teacher ratios must adhere to the following guidelines: Grades K to 3—one adult for ten students. Grades 4 to 12—one adult for 15 students. Therefore, if programs have 75 students, there will be 8 teachers. Which creates a total staffing costs of $118, 339, 200. Therefore, I propose lottery revenue to pay for this. Currently, $0.27 per $1.00 spent for lottery tickets goes to schools, however I propose a $0.03 increase to account for staffing costs of programs (to $0.30 per $1.00). Given the average spent for lottery tickets, this extra $0.03 will raise enough money to cover staff salaries and professional development activities for afterschool program staff. Although this is large undertaking, this is a necessary investment. This investment addresses many problems across the board by reducing social inequality related to education, improving academic outcomes, reducing juvenile crime and stimulating the Michigan economy and labor market. 

References:

Alliance, Afterschool. "America after 3PM: Afterschool programs in demand." Washington, DC: Afterschool Alliance (2014).

Blau, David, and Janet Currie. "Pre-school, day care, and after-school care: who's minding the kids?." Handbook of the Economics of Education 2 (2006): 1163-1278.

Durlak, Joseph A., and Roger P. Weissberg. "The Impact of After-School Programs that Promote Personal and Social Skills." Collaborative for academic, social, and emotional learning (NJ1) (2007).

Gottfredson, Denise C., et al. "Do after school programs reduce delinquency?." Prevention Science 5.4 (2004): 253-266.

"Model Standards for Out-of-School Time/After-School Programs in Michigan." Michigan State Board of Education, 2016.

Tennessee Department of Education Lottery for Education Afterschool Programs (LEAPs) 

The Child Care Organizations Act (1973 PA 116)

"Where the Money Goes." Michigan Lottery, 2020 

 

 

 




 

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