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Riverside County after-school programs struggling to survive

By in Press Enterprise on May 17, 2017

By Stephen Wall

Riverside County’s subsidized after-school programs are cutting services and enrolling fewer students as they struggle with rising costs and flat state funding.

Local school districts have slashed staff and cut art, music, science and other activities to keep the programs alive at a time when many schools have long waiting lists. At least one district started charging a registration fee to help cover costs.

While county educators say they have no immediate plans to end after-school programs, officials may consider it if the situation doesn’t improve.

“As you lose funding and can’t afford to pay people, you have to start looking at, ‘Do we keep these sites open?,’” said Carmen Phillips, the Alvord Unified School District’s after-school programs director. “Where is the money coming from to supplement the cost?”

  • Fifth-grader Raymond Allala, 10, does his math homework in the after-school program at Pachappa Elementary School in Riverside, Calif. on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Stagnant state funding, rising costs and possible cutbacks in federal support are threatening the viability of California’s subsidized after-school programs, which serve 4,500 schools across the state. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Fifth-grader Juliana Holmes, 10, does her homework during the the after-school program at Pachappa Elementary School in Riverside, Calif. on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Stagnant state funding, rising costs and possible cutbacks in federal support are threatening the viability of California's subsidized after-school programs, which serve 4,500 schools across the state. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Fifth-grader Juliana Holmes, 10, does her homework during the the after-school program at Pachappa Elementary School in Riverside, Calif. on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Stagnant state funding, rising costs and possible cutbacks in federal support are threatening the viability of California’s subsidized after-school programs, which serve 4,500 schools across the state. […]    

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