Advocates for after-school programs want White House to reconsider budget proposal

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Local children and advocates for after-school programs are hoping the White House will reconsider a proposal to cut funding to learning centers across the country.

"After school is an experience that everybody should cherish. They give you opportunities to have homework done. They (also) feed you after school," said Glorien Escalera, a frequent visitor and participant at the Boys and Girls Club.

The cuts are estimated to affect more than a million children. Reports say the White House is claiming there is no evidence students are even benefiting from the programs.

Dr. Ryan Lugalia-Hollon, the executive director of Excel Beyond The Bell SA, runs a network of 42 after-school programs and agencies. He said he has evidence they do help.

"We study really rigorously our programs having impacts, and we find they impact grades. They impact STARR scores. They decrease discipline incidents within the school, and they increase attendance," Lugalia-Hollon said.

Lugalia-Hollon believes after-school programs actually need more funding.

"If we really want to claim our potential in San Antonio, we do one of two things. We either prepare our young people across the city to claim that future, or we wait for Austin to come take us over," he said.

For more information and data on the effect after-school programs are having, click on this link.

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