Updated at 4:55 p.m. with response from the Department of Youth and Community Development.
The Independent Budget Office noted in a report today that the city’s plan to expand access to after-school programs for middle schoolers won’t do anything to fund related summer programs.
In the past, the city’s Department of Youth and Community Development has provided after-school and summer vacation activities for city students. That department recently got $51 million added back into its budget to shore up support for after-school programs (that the City Council had been funding), but nothing for the summer programs it has operated in the past.
De Blasio’s expansion plan also keeps the focus on after-school, not summer programs, which also expand learning time. The IBO report estimates that adding a summer component to the mayor’s after-school plan would cost between $28 million and $38 million.
Chancellor Carmen Fariña has talked about the importance of summer programs and her desire to expand Summer Quest, a five-week program for elementary and middle school students.
“We will be adding more crucial programs, such as Summer Quest, to ensure that our adolescents do not regress over summer vacation,” Fariña told City Council members last week. “Our pilot in the Bronx has been successful, and we need to replicate these types of programs in other high need districts throughout the city.”
Research has shown that summer learning loss can hurt low-income students the most. But easy answers are hard to come by: an internal report showed that last year’s Summer Quest did not decrease summer learning loss.
“DYCD is aware of the summer programming funding challenges, and we look forward to ongoing consideration of the issue prior to adoption of the FY15 budget,” Department of Youth and Community Development spokesman Mark Zustovich said.
The IBO’s brief report is below: