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For many children in rural communities, an after-school program is their only opportunity to get help with homework, take part in extracurricular activities and socialize outside of school. But small rural school districts struggle to provide transportation, find qualified staff and enroll enough students to generate adequate funding to keep these programs going.
Senate Bill 1221, authored by Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, which would give funding priority to summer programs for students and sets new quality standards for all out-of-school programs, has passed the Legislature and is awaiting approval by the governor.