Group Marches on Capitol for After School Programs

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SACRAMENTO — Demonstrators marched at the State Capitol on Tuesday, to ask Governor Jerry Brown for more money for after school programs.

“The City of Sacramento puts in money, the school districts put in money but the person who hasn’t put in money is Governor Jerry Brown and the State of California,” Jessica Gunderson, of the California After School Advocacy Alliance, told FOX40.

Organizers say the march was necessary after Brown’s most recent budget revision. According to the California After School Advocacy Alliance, the state currently pays $7.50 per student for after school programs. The group wants a $1.50 increase.

“We’ve been flat funded for over 10 years, while the costs of doing business and labor costs have gone up double digits,” Gunderson said.

The group delivered 10,000 postcards to the governor’s office, pleading for the increase in funding. While students and educators rally outside, it’ll be up to lawmakers to make the change in the budget.

Maurice Pugh, a senior at West Campus High School, takes part in the Men’s Leadership Academy — which relies, in part, on state funding. He credits after school programs like that for shaping his life.

“I speak for a lot of the kids that are in the different crowds,” Pugh said. “Taking this away would mean taking away a second family that can support, a second family that can give them a push to go farther in life.”

The legislature has until June 15 to approve the final budget.

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