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Study finds ‘large unmet need’ for expanded learning in California

Although California has the largest investment in expanded learning programs in the nation, there is still a “large unmet need” for these programs, according to a recent report.

The study by the Center for Education and Evaluation Services at UC Davis School of Education found that 44 percent of schools serving low-income students do not have expanded learning programs, which include programs offered before and after school and during the summer or intersession breaks.

Expanded learning programs, with their focus on hands-on learning and field trips, are increasingly seen as a way to bridge both the academic and experience gaps between low-income students and their higher-income peers. The programs also emphasize social skills and physical exercise as well as providing meals, which are particularly important in the summer when substantially fewer school meals are served.

Altogether, 4,452 schools in California provide state or federally funded expanded learning programs serving nearly 430,000 children and youth, according to the study. About 82 percent of the students in these programs are low-income and 32 percent are English learners, the researchers found.

Read the full story on EdSource California.