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Senate education leader: More funding needed for after-school programs

Before- and after-school programs that serve nearly 45,000 Indiana children each day aren’t a funding priority in Indiana, but an influential state lawmaker said today that it’s time for that to change.

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, who leads the Senate Education Committee, told more than 700 program leaders and community groups at the Indiana Afterschool Network‘s Summit on Out of School Learning that he’d be willing to sponsor a bill in the next legislative session to set aside more grant money for before- and after-school programs that he acknowledged are often overlooked.

“I don’t think it is a major issue in the legislature, but … I think it should be bigger than it is,” Kruse said. “I would say we need maybe some additional lobbying and exposure to the legislators themselves (to see) what’s happening. I buy into this totally, 100 percent.”

Kruse joined state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Melanie Brizzi, a director at the FSSA on a panel about the importance of after-school programs in Indiana. The panel was moderated by Chalkbeat Indiana Bureau Chief Scott Elliott.

Read the full story on Chalkbeat IN.