Counties Support Increased Funding for Out-of-School Recreational Programs

On March 16, 2023, Associate Policy Director Brianna January submitted testimony the Senate Finance Committee in support of SB 810 – Maryland Priority Out-of-School Time Program – Alterations.

SB 810 transfers the Public School Opportunities Enhancement Program from the Department of Education to the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, and changes its name to the Maryland Priority Out-of-School Time Program. More importantly, the bill also significantly increases the State’s annual appropriation to the Program from $3 million to $8.5 million. These additional funds will enable counties to offer a greater number of out-of-school recreational programs and will ensure the benefits of these programs reach a greater number of students.

From the MACo Testimony:

[Out-of-school activities funded through the Program] provide students and families with safe and enriching opportunities during times when schools are closed, and students are out of classrooms. Importantly, these programs operate during out-of-school hours, like before and after school, on weekends, and during vacation and holiday periods. They specifically target periods of vulnerability when children are outside of the classroom and have few opportunities – times when they are at-risk of engaging in unsafe and harmful activities and behaviors.

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