– The Parent PAC Steering Committee
For Immediate Release
October 22, 2013
Contact: Office of Supervisor Mark Farrell 415.554.7752
Catherine Stefani 415.554.7720
Margaux Kelly 415-554-7733
Jess Montejano 415-554-7756
SUPERVISOR FARRELL CALLS FOR HEARING ON SAN FRANCISCO’S AFTERSCHOOL FOR ALL INITIATIVE
SAN FRANCISCO – At today’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Farrell called for a hearing to evaluate the status of San Francisco’s Afterschool for All Initiative. Progress has been made since Mayor Newsom and then Superintendent of Schools Gwen Chan made a pledge in 2005 to support the creation of a citywide afterschool system. However, eight years later, we are still faced with a situation where an estimated 27% or 10,400 elementary and middle school youth who want access to afterschool programs do not currently have access to them.
“If we are serious about keeping families in San Francisco, we need to take action that will actually make a difference,” stated Supervisor Farrell. “We need to provide our working families with practical options for childcare, including afterschool programs at every school site across San Francisco.”
Currently, there is not enough “capacity” at schools to offer afterschool programming to all the children who need it at that school. This forces parents to either leave work to take their child to another afterschool location and/or rely on MUNI or other forms of public transportation to take their children to yet another location. Data indicates that most SFUSD parents prefer school-based afterschool programs over programs located off campus.
While SFUSD currently sponsors 69 afterschool programs across elementary and middle school campuses, not all children in need at those schools are served by those programs. In addition, at 10 SFUSD schools serving K-8, the district does not sponsor any afterschool programs. Our Department of Children, Youth and Their Families has been working diligently on this issue by creating and facilitating the Afterschool for All Advisory Committee – now renamed the Expanded Learning Collaborative. The San Francisco Unified School District is also working on increasing access and Commissioner Jill Wynns plans to introduce a resolution soon at the Board of Education to address this issue.
“Afterschool programs help support working families by providing safe, healthy and educational environments for children while their parents work,” said Supervisor Farrell. “They should be an essential part of our educational system.”
The hearing will give an opportunity to those departments who have been working on this issue to share the progress they have made, and will also examine how we can make changes to guarantee that if a parent needs their child to receive afterschool programming at the same school where the child attends, they are guaranteed a spot.