House Passes Juvenile Justice Bill with Barletta Language Helping Afterschool Programs like SHINE

May 23, 2017
Press Release
Barletta Change Makes Afterschool Programs Eligible for Federal Grants

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for juvenile justice reform legislation containing a change he negotiated to enable afterschool programs – like the successful SHINE (Schools and Homes in Education) program in Pennsylvania – to compete for federal grants to keep students on the right path.  The bill, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 1809, today unanimously passed the House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Last Congress, during consideration of the bill in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Barletta succeeded in inserting afterschool programs into the list of eligible recipients of grants to states to prevent juvenile delinquency.  The change, which was retained in the version of the bill introduced this Congress, means that states will be able to compete for five-year grants to help local leaders meet specific needs in keeping students headed in the right direction through programs such as SHINE.

“SHINE has a proven record as a very effective afterschool program benefitting students and working families,” Barletta said.  “I am very proud to have expanded access to more grants for programs like SHINE, because we have seen how effective they can be in giving children greater educational opportunities.”

SHINE is an afterschool program for students in grades kindergarten-eight that focuses on a project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) curriculum.  The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning recently analyzed 75 studies of 68 afterschool programs and found that students showed improved behavior and performed better academically than students who did not participate in afterschool programs.  And according to a study from 2007 to 2012, of the 1,600 students who participated in SHINE during that period, 79 percent improved their academic performance; 96 percent advanced to the next grade; and 92 percent had exceptionally good or satisfactory attendance.

Barletta and Pennsylvania state Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon) have championed SHINE together, working closely with Luzerne County host institution Wilkes University and its president, Patrick Leahy.

Barletta was instrumental in saving the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, which provides nearly 50 percent of SHINE’s funding.  Beginning in February 2015, Barletta began working to save the program after an early version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization eliminated it.  As a result of Barletta’s efforts, the 21st CCLC program was reauthorized on a bipartisan basis under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Barletta is continuing to work to save federal funding for SHINE.  In March, he sent separate letters to Office of Budget and Management (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos requesting that the Trump Administration reconsider its proposal to eliminate the 21st CCLC program.

Click here to view the letter Barletta sent to OMB Director Mulvaney, and click here to view the letter he sent to Secretary DeVos.