Essay about Personal History

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Table of contents

  1. Abstract
  2. Personal History
  3. California After-School Funding: A Brief History


In this research paper, I will share my personal history in after-school programs and attempt to chronicle the history of funding for after-school programs in California. This will include a history of the positive effects of these programs in general and the proven effects that budget cuts could have on student outcomes. Included in this paper will be an analysis of funding pushback, focusing on the Trump Administration and its proposal for cutting Education spending, and finally, I will present a case that argues for increased spending in after-school for the future.

Personal History

Five years of my life were spent as an after-school educator. Month after month, I would pour over stale curriculum resources from the 1990s, plan lessons and activities designed for my specific age group and blend of personalities, and once finished, I would eagerly turn in a proposed supply request form with the lesson plans attached. Month after month, I would come in the next day to see my supply requests marked in red pen: Circles, rejections, and notes of apology from my managers. “We just can’t afford that this month,” They would tell me, circling the likes of plastic sandwich baggies and balloons and baking soda alike, all fun and necessary props for the latest STEM project I had planned. Sometimes, I would simply agree, and it would be back to the mildewy old activity manuals for a plan B. However, sometimes I had foolishly already promised my students the activity with the sandwich baggies, balloons, and baking soda. Instead of letting them down, I would check my mobile banking app, take a deep sigh, and head to the nearest Dollar Tree to handle the supply request myself. These projects with my students were some of the only ways to get them engaged in STEM concepts and working as a team toward a common goal. Even the worst school day could disappear by watching balloons puff out and grow after a chemical reaction happens in your very own hands. Sadly, even the cheapest of requests came with the apprehension of the red rejection pen, so over the course of 5 years, I became a Dollar Tree regular. Through creativity, resourcefulness, and a lot of my own penny-pinching, every afternoon of every work week my students would walk in and I would have an activity, rain or shine, bank account full or empty. My family was no stranger to this “do it yourself” attitude in education. My mom, grandpa, aunt, and a handful of cousins all work or have worked as educators in grades K-6. It was common knowledge to me from a young age that if you aren’t given the tools to succeed, be it money for classroom decorations, tools, and supplies, or science project props, you just shrug your shoulders and substitute them yourself. Teachers self-funding their classrooms have always been a concept well-discussed in education circles, and unfortunately, it’s no different in the after-school world. Is the money coming into after-school simply mismanaged? Are we in California lacking in after-school funding, even though California ranks high as one of the top after-school providers in the country? How does the proposition of after-school programs being put on the budget chopping block by the Trump administration in 2017 and again for his 2020 plan bode for the future of our students in California? These are the questions I would like to explore in this paper.

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California After-School Funding: A Brief History

In 1999 California began funding after-school programs with a 50 million dollar investment that grew larger and larger. In 2002, California was investing 120 million dollars into after-school programs across the state, and over a thousand new schools were receiving funding, but there were still many schools unfunded after-school. In November of 2002, however, California voters passed proposition 49, the After School Education and Safety program (ASES) which instructed that $550 million dollars be made available for Kindergarten through 9th-grade after-school programs each year. In order for this to be practicable, these funds would be released only after the state achieved a financial “trigger”. Between 2003 and 2005 the financial trigger necessary to release the additional 430 million dollars had not been achieved and there was no expansion of state-funded after-school programs. During this time, the Governor’s office, the California Department of Education, consulting groups, school districts, afterschool providers, and child/youth advocacy groups began to try to work together to discuss how the ASES program would be implemented.

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Essay about Personal History. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Essay about Personal History.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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