After-school funding among several vital programs included in Senate planSPRINGFIELD – A plan to provide funding for the Teen REACH program, which provides grants to support local communities’ after-school programs that serve at-risk youth, is expected to be considered today in the Illinois Senate.

“Study after study points to a direct correlation between investing in quality after-school programs and higher levels of student success and lower rates of crime,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Many communities across Illinois, from East St. Louis to Rockford to municipalities in the South Suburbs, are suffering from disinvestment and high rates of crime. The common denominator in all of these communities is that too many youth are not in school and are not working.”

Teen REACH funding has been cut off since Illinois’ budget impasse began in July and was not included in the governor’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017.  Since the impasse began, more than 1,500 youth have lost access to after-school programs, making today’s vote imperative for the future of after-school programs across the state.

Earlier this year, Hutchinson passed a plan that requires the state to make quality after-school programs a priority. Her plan requires the Department of Human Services to award grants to community-based agencies providing after-school services to at-risk youth age 6 to 17.

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