Mar 17, 2017 by David B. Muhlhausen
President Donald Trump has clear justification for his recommendation to eliminate a $1.2 billion after-school program administered by the Department of Education.
Rigorous scientific evidence shows that the program, called 21st Century Community Learning Centers, harms children. Advocates of evidence-based policy should applaud the president’s fiscally responsible decision, part of his fiscal year 2018 budget request.
The role of the federal government in funding after-school programs increased substantially after Congress passed the Improving America’s School Act of 1994, which created 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Congress wanted to open up local schools so that communities could use the space more extensively beyond normal hours. The after-school program was intended to “support continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities to children and adults to help keep the country’s workforce competitive for the 21st century.”
In 1998, administrators altered the social program to provide…
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