ERIC Number: ED506970
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Reference Count: 26
It's Time for Summer: An Analysis of Recent Policy and Funding Opportunities
Fairchild, Ron; Smink, Jeff; Stewart, Ashley B.
The National Summer Learning Association is the only national organization that focuses exclusively on learning during the summer months. It works to ensure that children and youth in high-poverty communities have access to quality summer learning opportunities that support their academic performance and healthy development through hands-on learning and other enrichment activities that look and feel different than the traditional school day. After more than a decade of engaging in rigorous research and evaluation, developing policy, collaborating with hundreds of program providers, delivering professional development to the field, and having coordinated with local, state and national authorities across the country, this paper reflects comprehensive and robust analysis of how to position summer learning in the center of education reform. By structuring this paper around the federal, state and local policies and funding opportunities, the authors wish to equip policymakers and funders with strategic recommendations to maximize their investments and help to leverage existing policy and fiscal frameworks. They explore individual state and local approaches because it's been found that most of the actual choices that directly affect summer programming are made at the state and local levels. The recommendations are designed to help key decisionmakers navigate and influence policies and funding streams which are crucial to advancing the summer learning agenda. Specifically, this report recommends ways to improve and expand summer learning programs by better coordinating federal, state and local programs, including ensuring that federal program regulations explicitly allow spending for summer programs and creating funding collaboratives. The purpose of this paper is to both describe and analyze current local, state, and federal policies and funding sources used to support low-income young people during the summer months in major U.S. cities. The analysis highlights several urgent needs confronting the field. First, there needs to be much stronger alignment and coordination between funding sources in order to maximize existing resources. This is particularly important given current fiscal realities confronting public agencies and providers across the country. Second, there should be a much stronger emphasis and/or requirement to utilize summer programs within existing funding streams, policy frameworks, and data collection systems. Finally, there should be new, dedicated funding streams at the federal, state, and local level that explicitly advance a much more comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable vision for summer-related funding than what currently exists. Included herein is an appendix of summer learning terms.
Descriptors: Summer Programs, Enrichment Activities, Partnerships in Education, Educational Change, National Organizations, Public Agencies, Youth, Federal Programs, Disadvantaged Youth, Urban Youth, Summer Schools, Poverty Areas, Educational Opportunities, Academic Achievement, Professional Development, Program Evaluation, Educational Policy, Public Officials, Financial Support, Federal Aid, Urban Areas
Wallace Foundation. 5 Penn Plaza 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 212-251-9700; Web site: http://www.wallacefoundation.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: Wallace Foundation
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001