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ALL schools should have before and after school programs, or should open early enough to accommodate working parents who, at the least, must report to work by 7:00 a.m. Some schools could open even earlier, and not only to accommodate parents with early morning work hours, but to accommodate students who need academic assistance or tutoring that is not generally availed throughout the course of a regular school day, and where certain students cannot attend after school programs.

Some parents are unemployed or face significant challenges simply because of the open and close times of their children’s schools, and while stats demonstrate the negative impact that poverty can have on student academic performance.

After school, like before school programs, which should commence on the very first day of school and/or be effective throughout the course of each year, equally address the need for accommodation of working parents and students who are in need of tutoring. All aftercare programs, in fact, should offer academic enrichment of some sort; all students can improve upon something.

Many students have also been forced to stand, unattended, and regardless of cold or inclement weather, and occasionally in the dark, outside of school buildings for significant lengths of time before opening of school doors, which presents issues in terms of student health and safety, because their parents or other individuals dropping them off must report to work before the schools open.

Before and after school programs are an excellent way for schools to raise funds that is affordable to average working parents (noting that fees should be waived or costs should be reduced or based on the income of parents for students whose indigence would otherwise prevent participation in before and/or afterschool programs).

School-based Transportation Services for Certain Students

School-based transportation services, distinguishable from traditional public school transportation, would provide transportation services to and/or from school for young children and others (under extenuating circumstances) attending public schools who do not qualify for traditional public school transportation by virtue of proximity, but who live too far from their attending schools or would fall out of the sight of crossing guards and school personnel before arriving to their respective destinations.

The prescribed transportation services would be fee-based (though complimentary to those qualifying), and, I’m certain, would also raise significant funds for schools, and would assure the safety of particularly very young children who are forced to walk home, either because their parents are working during school let-out times, and caregivers who’d attend to the children until their parents return from work are, due to certain limitations, unable to retrieve them from school, or because certain limitations prevent parents or guardians from retrieving the students from school.

Schools could have their own personalized vehicles for said purposes, i.e. whatever the name of each respective school, or they could establish relationships with trusted and affordable transportation service providers that would transport these particular students to and/or from school, noting that day care centers typically charge the costs of providing all-day care just to transport students to and from school and/or for providing care for very brief periods of time, and these significant costs are frequently paid by the government via relevant agencies; schools should provide lists to parents of any such transportation providers with fee requirements, and waiver applications, where merited.

After school programs benefit working parents, school/student academic performance, and student safety, and, when improved, as here prescribed, can have a tremendous impact on the economy in that they would better enable employment amongst parents and alleviate burdens on social service programs, etc…

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