Trump’s proposed budget includes a $1.2 billion cut to after-school programs.
But a U.S. Department of Education report on the 2013-14 school year, the most recent year for which data is available, concluded that student participation in Community Learning Centers led to improvements in achievement and behavior. Half of students improved their homework completion and in-class participation. More than a third of participants also improved their grades in math and English, according to the report.
And when it comes to after-school nutrition programs, research has shown the academic benefits of alleviating hunger among students.
“Hunger due to insufficient food intake is associated with lower grades, higher rates of absenteeism, repeating a grade, and an inability to focus among students,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on health and academic achievement, which also noted that inadequate consumption of certain foods and nutrients has been associated with similar results.
According to the American Psychological Association, hungry children are ” significantly more likely to receive special education services, to have repeated a grade in school and to have received mental health counseling than at-risk-for-hunger or not-hungry children.” The same study also found that hungry children were more likely than their not-hungry peers to have behavioral problems, including fighting or not listening.