Citizen Schools and the National Center on Time & Learning Urge Congress to Support the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program in the Senate Every Child Achieves Act

Nationwide Coalition of 671 Organizations Promotes the Importance ofExpanded Learning Time and After-School Programs


Washington, DC — September 23, 2015— A broad and diverse coalition of 671 organizations, including 112 national organizations, along with community programs, teachers, and principals representing all 50 states have called on Congress to preserve the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind. The coalition’s letter shows the breadth and depth of support that before-school, after-school, and summer programs as well as expanded learning time school models have throughout the nation. The National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) and Citizen Schools are proud to stand as part of this unprecedented coalition supporting expanded learning opportunities for all students as a crucial way to close the achievement and opportunity gaps.

“Expanded learning time benefits students and families across the United States,” said Steven M. Rothstein, CEO of Citizen Schools. “At Citizen Schools, we fit seamlessly into this model by bringing middle school students together directly with mentors from many different professional and corporate backgrounds. These relationships encourage students to think about their futures beyond middle and high school and serve to inspire them to pursue college degrees and careers.”

“The 21st Century program provides crucial federal support for expanded-time schools that integrate community partners into the school day to increase learning time for students for core academics and engaging enrichment programs, as well as creating planning, collaboration, and professional development time for teachers,” added Jennifer Davis, President and co-founder of NCTL. “The Senate’s version of the reauthorization will preserve the grant program that so many districts and families rely on, while making it more flexible for local communities and schools to choose how to expand learning opportunities for their students.”

Citizen Schools and NCTL are particularly pleased that so many national, state, and local organizations representing such a broad array of stakeholders have joined together to support after-school programs and expanded-time schools. The list includes the Afterschool Alliance and community groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the YMCA and the PTA; teacher organizations like American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and Teach for America; civil rights organizations like the National Council of La Raza and the NAACP. The group’s letter to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and the Education and Workforce Committee asks Congress to reauthorize ESEA using the Title IV language from S.1177, the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA), which authorizes the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative as a separate and specific federal funding stream for out-of-school time programs and expanded learning time schools.

Media Contact

Matt Ellis Ellis Strategies, Inc. | 617-278-6560

Chelsea Murphy National Center on Time & Learning | 617-378-3914

About Citizen Schools and NCTL Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit

The National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL) is dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement and enable a well-rounded education. Through research, public policy, and technical assistance, NCTL supports national, state, and local initiatives that add significantly more school time for academic and enrichment opportunities to help all children meet the demands of the 21st century. For more information, please visit