Failing to invest in after-school and summer programs would undermine two decades of work to help communities close the learning gap for children of color, low-income children and working class families.
To the happy surprise of some officials, thousands of California students may benefit from the expansion of federal Pell grants into summer sessions. The extra funding is expected to help speed up the time to graduation for low-income students.
A review of 30 well-designed studies on after-school and summer programs across the country found mixed results regarding their benefits on student academic performance. Students who were below grade level in English gained the most from these programs, according to some of the studies.
Data released today from a national poll shows that a third of families with school-age children had enrolled at least one child in a summer program in 2013. That is an increase from five years earlier when only a quarter of families had enrolled their children in summer programs.