STEM Next and Ron Ottinger recently released a public statement on the Trump Administration’s proposed budget. Below is a brief overview of the statement with a link to the full statement.
Trump Administration’s Budget Would Devastate Afterschool STEM Learning Opportunities For Our Nation’s Youth
President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to afterschool programs would deny millions of American youth the opportunity to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning; inhibit the development of the nation’s future scientists, engineers, inventors, and business leaders; and cut young people off from building the skills they need to advance in school, work, citizenship and life.
If enacted by Congress, the President’s budget would eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, the single largest source of funding for afterschool and summer programs that enroll 1.6 million students across rural, urban and suburban communities in all 50 states.
Afterschool and summer programs provide essential learning opportunities for young people. This is particularly true when it comes to STEM learning – a national priority.
And afterschool programs have the support of an overwhelming number of Americans: a recent Quinnipiac poll found 83% are opposed to cuts in afterschool funding.
The Administration has said there is no evidence that these programs are effective. That is simply not true.
Research shows that students participating in afterschool programs increase their grades and academic achievement. Earlier this month, STEM Next launched STEM Ready America: Inspiring and Preparing Students for Success with Afterschool and Summer Learning, featuring new research, the latest in a growing body of evidence, that found students participating in STEM-focused afterschool programs report increased interest in STEM careers and gains in high-demand skills such as critical thinking and perseverance.
The real crisis in afterschool learning is the lack of opportunities for all who need them: for every child in an afterschool program, there are two waiting to get in. We need to scale up these programs to ensure every child waiting to enroll has access.
It’s up to the community of STEM supporters to defeat this shortsighted budget proposal. Please read my full post here, which includes additional details on the proposed budget cuts, research that shows the impact of afterschool STEM, and highlights the work of leading partners who have come together to ensure all young people have opportunities to gain STEM skills and realize their potential. We also invite you to join STEM Next in speaking out for STEM and young people by taking two key actions to make your voices heard.