We serve as a bridge between on-the-ground needs and the work of policymakers, advocating for policies that enable schools and their community partners to improve services provided to students and their families.

Field Experience Drives Our State and Federal Policy Agendas

Our goals and strategies are driven by our work with educators, non-profit organizations, and community leaders directly serving students and families to close the opportunity and achievement gaps. We serve as a bridge between the needs and experiences of the field, and the creation and implementation of policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Our policy work focuses on expanding access to and improving the quality of expanded learning programs (after school and summer) and community schools.

State Policy

As the lead coordinator of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance (CA3), PCY is leading a coordinated effort to raise funding for California’s After School Education and Safety (ASES) program. ASES funding supports more than 600,000 students daily in over 4,000 elementary and middle schools offering after school and summer programs. Read more about our state policy priorities.

Federal Policy

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program is the only federal funding explicitly for expanded learning programs. This funding supports more than 600 programs throughout the state, representing almost 300,000 kids. Many California programs depend on this funding, particularly summer learning programs and programming for high school students (for which this is the only public funding source). Read more about our federal policy work.

Top Policy & Advocacy Accomplishments:

  • PCY became the lead coordinator of the CA3, highlighting our leading role in the Save After School campaign.
  • In 2015, Legislators included a $25 million increase for ASES programs. The first proposed increase in the daily rate since it’s creation in 2006 was left out of the final budget by Governor Brown.
  • PCY conducted a landmark survey of CA expanded learning programs, with almost 600 respondents.
  • Sponsored and passed California Senate Bill 1221 (2014) authored by Senator Loni Hancock. This bill has boosted student achievement by increasing resources for summer and year-round programming; strengthening program quality by requiring data-driven local improvement plans; leveraging state data systems to improve transparency on program effectiveness and student needs; and updating program administration to support local needs and flexibility to more effectively serve students.
  • Developed and led passage of California Senate Bill 638 (2006), a comprehensive measure that created effective and equitable implementation provisions for Proposition 49, California’s landmark measure that provided $550 million for expanded learning programs. SB 638 ensured that Prop 49 dollars were focused on the state’s low-income communities.
  • Successfully advocated for changes made by the California Department of Education (CDE) to raise the visibility and role of expanded learning programs including regulations, agency systems, and funding opportunities impacting educators, students, and their families.
  • Authored key federal policy recommendations on funding for expanded learning programs that were included in ESEA Reauthorization proposals and Congressional Appropriations bills.


Policy Partnerships

Collaboration, leadership, and coalition-building are foundations of our policy and advocacy strategies. In all of our efforts we work with others to maximize our collective impact and leverage the expertise and perspectives of diverse educational and community leaders  to create the most effective and grounded policy solutions.

California Department of Education (CDE)

PCY’s Jennifer Peck and Katie Brackenridge, are committee members of the CDE’s Expanded Learning Division Strategic Implementation Teams.

Additionally, President & CEO Jennifer Peck served as Director of the State Superintendent’s Transition Advisory Team in 2011 and continues to serve as an advisor to the Superintendent on after school and summer programs, as well as on community schools.

California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance (CA3)

PCY is a founding member and the lead coordinator of CA3, an alliance of organizations dedicated to promoting legislative and administrative policies that enhance the quality and accessibility of after-school programs in California, including the protection of funding for the state’s After School Education and Safety Program. The alliance represents 24 organizations, serving over 200,000 students daily.

California Afterschool Network (CAN)

PCY is a member of CAN’s advisory board, an advocacy network whose mission is to provide expanded learning practitioners, advocates, and community members with the resources and tools necessary to build high-quality expanded learning programs in California. Katie Brackenridge serves as co-chair for CAN’s Quality Committee. Senior Policy and Communications Director, Jessica Gunderson, serves on the Executive Team, Leadership Council, and as chair of the Policy Committee.

Every Hour Counts

To advance federal practice and policy, PCY is a member of Every Hour Counts, a coalition of leading expanded learning intermediary organizations representing cities and regions across the country that are building expanded learning systems. 

Coalition for Community Schools

PCY serves on the advisory board for the Coalition for Community Schools, an alliance of national, state, and local organizations to create opportunities for the success of children, families, and communities by promoting the development of more, and more effective, community schools.

Get Resources

Find resources and research around Expanded Learning, Community Schools and Policy & Advocacy including briefs, data sheets, funding guides, training tools and links to other partners in the field.

Policy & Advocacy

We serve as a bridge between on-the-ground needs and the work of policy makers at the local, state and federal levels, advocating for policies that enable schools and their community partners to improve services provided to students and their families.

In the News

Circle up: Teaching social-emotional skills year round
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Part 2: The Great ASES Augmentation of 2017 – A Children’s Story
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Tehama District Fair to host SERRF students Thursday
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What is Expanded Learning Time?

We believe expanded learning opportunities support a variety of academically enriching, engaging, hands-on learning opportunities that complement, but differ from school day instruction – and that these services should be delivered jointly by non-profits and schools during the times after school, before school, and in the summer.

Click here to read our policy definition of Expanded Learning Time developed with the California Department of Education