Factsheet | April 29, 2021

Afterschool Funding in California

Funding reform will allow more students to access programs that help build the future workforce

The business leaders of ReadyNation know that afterschool programs play an important role in ensuring students develop key academic and social-emotional skills, graduate from high school, and become part of a strong workforce. Unfortunately, 2.4 million students in California who wish to enroll in afterschool programs are unable to do so—partially a consequence of inadequate funding that can make it difficult for programs to serve all students.

A survey of 748 afterschool programs sought to identify whether they have the resources they need to serve families in summer 2021.

1. 65% of programs consider costs and funding a primary barrier to operating.

2. 95% of programs say they may be able to serve more students or operate more sites if public funding increases.

- California AfterSchool Network

A primary source of funding for afterschool in California is the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program. Today, the state legislature funds ASES programs at a rate of $8.88 per student per day—only about a dollar more than the rate the state first established for the program 20 years ago, when operating costs were substantially lower. Furthermore, the legislature makes no funding adjustments to account for differences across regional markets.

The legislature can help address this problem by increasing ASES funding and shifting authority for determining program funding levels to the California Department of Education, which can allocate funds based on regional costs rather than an arbitrary rate.


  1. California