When campuses faced the loss of after school programs due to funding shortfalls, Austin Voices worked with parents and students to successfully advocate for this vital support for kids.
In June 2016, parents at Hart Elementary, as well as several other campuses, found out that they would not have after school funding for the coming school year. A meeting was quickly organized and facilitated by Austin Voices with AISD trustees and Austin City Council member Greg Casar. Over 100 gathered on a summer evening at Hart to discuss the vital importance of after school programs, both for students and parents. Notes from the meeting were sent to City Council members, while AVEY worked to gather information district-wide on gaps in after school funding. A plan was produced that funded all but 10 Title 1 campuses.
In August, AVEY took parents and students from Hart and several other campuses to advocate for funding support at a City Council meeting. As a result of the impassioned speeches by parents and students, Council members agreed to fill the funding gap for 2016-17.
While there is more work to be done to assure that every campus has sustainable funding, Hart parents and students can be proud of what they achieved.
(Update: In summer, 2017, Austin Voices advocated, along with other local groups, to increase city support for after school programming, resulting in an additional $950,000 in support for 20 AISD campuses, including many of those AVEY serves.)