The U.S. Department of Education has established a waiver process to help states obtain additional flexibility in meeting No Child Left Behind Act performance standards. The "optional flexibility" choice, known as Waiver 11, allows states to use funds from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program to support expanded learning opportunities during the school day. A lack of clarity on how the waiver will be implemented has left leaders wondering whether quality afterschool programming will be sacrificed in the name of a slightly longer school day.
United Way Worldwide, the Forum and several youth organizations sent a letter asking Education Secretary Arne Duncan to issue guidance to make sure the funds are not used for "more of the same" - just another hour of traditional schooling and traditional types of learning activities. The letter also recommends guidance affirming that applications from schools and community-based organizations working together will get priority for funding.