New Jersey After 3 Keeps Afloat

By Nora Fleming — November 01, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New Jersey After 3, a New Brunswick, N.J.-based organization that runs after-school programs in the state, will remain afloat thanks to a new public-private partnership, after announcing last week that it would be forced to shut down because of a loss of state funding.

The organization, which has served 75,000 students in the after-school hours, had been supported through state funding and private dollars since its founding in 2004. But after the state pulled the plug on all funding for the program, it became too challenging for NJA3 to survive on private dollars alone, particularly since the state funding had already dropped from $15 million in 2009 to $3 million in 2011 and the pressure on private funding was already high.

“Last week, people were in my office taking things off the walls, and we didn’t know if any of the solutions we proposed to the state would work out,” said Mark Valli, president of New Jersey After 3.

In a matter of days, however, things changed when the state decided to renew a public-private partnership with New Jersey After 3 by working with the organization to turn around the state’s schools.

According to statements from Gov. Chris Christie, the state will be applying for a waiver from No Child Left Behind’s accountability requirements, and plans to use New Jersey After 3’s extended-day programs as one of its strategies for school improvement. As you may remember, the Obama administration’s waiver plan includes expanded learning and extended days as a turnaround strategy that can help states qualify.

With renewed state support, new private funding offers emerged that will help support New Jersey After 3 while the state applies for additional funding from the federal government that could keep New Jersey After 3 sustainable.

What public funding may support the program and how the waiver process will work are still in the works, Valli said, but an application is planned for Nov. 1.

“I’m hoping this [partnership] opens up the door not just to protecting New Jersey After 3’s kids and their families, but that the whole waiver process presents new opportunities for expanded learning,” Valli said of the new strategy for solvency that he hopes will inspire other struggling programs. “We have not just the opportunity to survive through waivers, but the opportunity to build something truly special and elevate ELT in all forms.”

To date, New Jersey After 3 has offered programs to 29 districts in the state, programs which have been shown to improve academics for students who remain in the program for two years or more.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP