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Characteristics of Schools and Students Participating in After School Programs: Report to the Legislature, Legislative Analyst’s Office, and the Governor

By Staci Wendt, Gregory Austin, The California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division


The California Department of Education (CDE) oversees the most extensive system of high-quality after-school programs in the nation through two initiatives: The state-funded After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program and the federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program. These programs currently operate at approximately 4,500 sites and serve nearly 820,000 students annually in grades kindergarten through twelve.

Senate Bill 1221 (Hancock), Statutes of 2014, Section 9, and California Education Code Section 8428, all require that the CDE report to the Legislature biennially on the type and quality of its programs and the characteristics of the students participating in them.

Prepared in December 2019, this first report to the California Legislature, Legislative Analyst’s Office, and the Governor summarizes findings from a WestEd-led analysis of data collected by the CDE.

Key findings include:

  • Students who participated in after-school programs were significantly more likely to have higher school day attendance compared to their matched-comparison group peers.
  • Schools that receive after-school funding predominantly served economically disadvantaged students and students of color.
  • Over one-third of students (36 percent) in grantee schools are also English learners (ELs).
  • Within grantee schools, an average of 35 percent of students participated in funded after-school programs.
  • Program participants are representative of the larger student body.
  • Program participants, and specifically those who were ELs in grades nine through twelve, report significantly higher school day attendance than their peers who do not participate in expanded learning programs.
  • Across all grades, expanded learning program participants attended an average of 3.5 to 17 more days of school compared to their non-participating peers. The increase in school day attendance for expanded learning participants specifically is equivalent to approximately $163,251,341 in average daily attendance funding for schools.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2019
Format: PDF
Pages: 227
Publisher: The California Department of Education