The Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota was very active for such a short policy session! Our Executive Director, Mai-anh Kapanke, served as co-chair of the GradMN Policy committee this year. In that capacity we looked for policy that aligned with MPM’s goals of supporting Minnesota’s youth through graduation, of which mentoring (both formal and informal) is a key strategy. The Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, in collaboration with many out-of-school time partners, supported the Ignite Afterschool statewide proposal for investments in out-of-school-time funding SF 1017. What happened to SF 1017 when session ended May 23rd?
For the second year in a row, Out of School Time funding was considered in the final Conference Committee budget negotiations. Yet legislators ultimately failed to invest in afterschool programs that inspire learning, keep youth safe, and help working families in Minnesota. Highlights about 1017 this session include:
- Bipartisan support in the Senate for SF 1017, the Afterschool Community Learning Grants (ACLG) bill
- ACLG listed as recommended legislation by the GradMN Coalition
- 20+ meetings organized with legislators to both educate and advocate for afterschool
- Unanimous support for ACLG from MN Youth Council
- ACLG featured as a key policy issue at Youth Day at the Capitol2016
We made progress this session, but there is still more work to be done to inform Minnesota’s decision-makers about the urgent need for afterschool funding in Minnesota, which currently has about 150,000 young people who lack access to afterschool programs. MPM will continue to support Ignite Afterschool in this initiative.