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/occupationAssembly 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

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. 

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) 

Questions Asked: 

  • What is the basic structure of after school programs offered through Bright Futures? 
  • About how many students participate in these after school programs? 
  • What types of students participate in these programs? (i.e. socioeconomic status, race, grade) 
  • Do families have to pay for such school programs, or are programs fully funded by the Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities? 
  • Do you find that students enrolled in after school programs are higher or lower achieving? 
  • Why do some programs have age restrictions? What is the rationale for choosing these grades/ages? 
  • 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? 
  • How do you think the state of Michigan can be helpful in the development and operation of Bright Futures? 

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: Kevelin Jones – Principle of Doyle-Ryder Elementary School in Flint, MI (awaiting response)

Questions Asked: 

  • What is the basic structure of after school programs offered at Doyle-Ryder Elementary School & are they any different from other schools in Flint? 
  • About how many students participate in these after school programs?
  • What types of students participate in these programs? (i.e. socioeconomic status, race, grade)
  • Do families have to pay for after school programs, if so, what are the costs per student? 
  • Do you find that students enrolled in after school programs are higher or lower achieving? 
  • How do you think the State of Michigan can be helpful to after school programs in your school? 

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 to get ideas. 

FORMAL PROPOSAL

The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

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

WHEREAS.... only 18% of students are able to participate in after school and summer programs 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 after school and summer programs are $114, this is equivelent to $4,446 per school year.  

WHEREAS.... the costs and lack of appropiate after school and summer programs dispartely impact low income and minorty (African American & Latinx) communities. 

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....

1. Subsidize the costs of existing after school and summer programs to students and their families. For districts without exisitng after school programs or summer and/or who recieve Title I funding, establish available after school programs within a 10 mile radius of the school district. 

2. Mandate that all after school and summer programs operate until 10pm M-F. For days and hours outside of this time frame, the state should provide a state subsidized voucher for babysitting services from trained professionals. Vouchers will be given to families below the poverty line or families with parents who work during non-business hours. 

3. Provide tranportation services to and from after school and summer programs. 

4. Place greater restrictions on the School Aid Fund that uses profits generated by the Michigan Lottery so that funds are redistributed to directly provide support for after school and summer programs.  to redistriute funds 

5. Hire existing K-12 teachers, those with an associates degree in a relevant field or indivduals who have a high school diploma and complete state mandated trainingt o staff such programs. Expanding this opportunity to individuals with varying degrees of education will help to generate more jobs throughout the state. 

6. Enusre that after school programs are being run appropiately by requiring year end reports from each school districts and implementing routine in-person checks. 

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

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

2. How will you ensure that after school programs are high quality and will effectively meet the needs of students? 

3. 

Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

The primary source of funding will come from profits generated by the Michigan Lottery system. Profits from the Michigan Lottery are already given to schools in the form of the School Aid Fund but are largely up to the discression of indiviudal districts (normally used for small infrastructure fixes such as water fountains). Therefore, this proposal will redistribute these funds so that they directly support after school and summer programs. 

References:

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.

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

"Where the Money Goes." Michigan Lottery, 2020 

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




 

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