Policy Overview

Providers, organizations and agencies interested in the field of afterschool look to OregonASK to answer questions and keep them informed about local, state and national issues and legislation that could have an impact on afterschool, children and youth and families in our communities. Our work is centered on educating policy makers and organizations, through research, tools, strategies and partnerships with many organizations throughout the state. We educate the community about ways that afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families.

Our education work includes fact sheets, issues briefs and gathering research about the impact and importance of afterschool programs. We work directly with providers, public administrators and elected officials to create policies that support the work of afterschool programs, professional and youth in Oregon.

Follow the links below to learn more about our work at the state level and what is happening at the national level.

State Policy Work

Federal Policy

OregonASK Policy Platform

It is critical that our state employ innovative strategies in order to achieve Oregon’s 40-40-20 goal, and support the positive growth of our communities, workforce and economy.

We believe that all students can achieve given the right opportunity. We recognize that our state’s diverse student populations cannot be solely and equitably educated through the methods found in traditional schooling and have needs requiring innovative strategies, alternative pathways and expanded learning opportunities beyond the school door.

Oregon’s students of color, those from poverty, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities remain the most under-served by our public education system. In order to address the cumulative impact of our state’s summer learning loss, and the growing opportunity gap, our public education system and after-school and community-based organizations must come together to provide and sustain high quality expanded learning opportunities that support each student’s academic success, allow them to graduate with a high school diploma and prepare them for college and career success.

Focus on Summer – For many, the summer months are challenging and risky

  • Academic Loss: All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.
  • Inequity: More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains.
  • Health Risks: Children gain body mass index (BMI) nearly twice as fast during the summer as during the school year.
  • Parents & Families: Parents consistently cite summer as the most difficult time to ensure that their children have productive things to do.

Therefore, to increase the return on investment of our education dollars and ensure all children, particularly low-income children, have access to high quality expanded learning opportunities during the summer we must:

  1. Increase public investments in programs and organizations that provide summer learning opportunities in targeted high-risk, low-income communities.
  2. Implement communication strategies to increase awareness and access to existing summer supports, including but not limited to the USDA Summer Food Service Program, public libraries’ statewide summer reading program and academic and enrichment programs.
  3. Intentionally incorporate the Oregon Education Investment Board Equity Lens in all actions, including but not limited to developing funding structures, requirements, and distributing funds.


High quality expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) provided in afterschool and summer programs have the power to:

  • Support Academic Outcomes
  • Engage Students
  • Support Families
  • Increase Health and Wellness
  • Promote Positive Youth Development
  • Provide a Low Cost Solution

Benefits of ELOs are particularly significant for low-income students as they would not otherwise have access to many of these supports and services.

Therefore, in order to support student success both in and out of school, we must:

  1. Create and maintain state-level funding for Expanded Learning Opportunities in targeted at-risk, low-income communities, so that programs, students and families have reliable and consistent resources.
  2. Increase public, and leverage private investments in community based organizations; afterschool and summer programs that provide expanded learning opportunities.
  3. Protect current funding sources, which include 21st Century Community Learning Center, Employment Related Day Care, the USDA Afterschool Meals & Snacks program and the Ready to Read Grant program.
  4. Intentionally incorporate the Oregon Education Investment Board Equity Lens in all actions, including but not limited to developing funding structures, requirements, and distributing funds.
  5. Reward and incent authentic partnerships between schools, after school providers and programs.