U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Afterschool Programming

Afterschool and Workforce Readiness Act will improve college and career-readiness of high school students

By - Apr 13th, 2015 03:19 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Co-Chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, introduced the Afterschool and Workforce Readiness Act to strengthen America’s afterschool programming by ensuring students are college and career-ready upon graduation from high school.

“There is a clear need for not only robust program funding, but options that would benefit a wider array of high school students,” said Baldwin. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation that ensures students are offered opportunities to help prepare them for our 21st century Made In Wisconsin economy.”

In Wisconsin, while 121,469 students participate in an afterschool program, currently 30 percent of 9-12th graders are unsupervised afterschool – a need that can be met with increased 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) funding and career exploration opportunities.

For over 20 years, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program has served high-need rural, urban, and suburban communities. Baldwin’s legislation would amend the 21st CCLC program by:

  • Involving local businesses and workforce boards as partners with 21st CCLC programs to improve college and career readiness and help immerse high school students in real-world work experiences
  • Helping high school students think about planning their futures by encouraging 21st CCLC programs to focus on college and career readiness in addition to academic excellence
  • Ensuring that afterschool programming offers a wide array of learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields as well as in career and technical education (CTE) subjects
  • Aiding States in identifying workforce-critical subjects in order to align their limited resources toward community needs and provide students the knowledge they need to get good jobs or pursue higher education

The Afterschool and Workforce Readiness Act has been endorsed by the Association of Career and Technical Education, AHRAE, the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education, National Association of Workforce Boards and the STEM-ED Coalition.

Last month, Baldwin joined her colleagues in sending a letter to senate appropriations members, who later this year will set funding levels for education programs, requesting continued investment in the 21st CCLC program.

Learn more about the Afterschool and Workforce Readiness Act here.

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