(15th DISTRICT) – Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora and Bonnie Watson Coleman lamented the end of NJ After 3, a statewide program that funded afterschool programs for thousands of students that will close after its state funding was eliminated by the governor.
New Jersey After 3, which was established in 2004 and in 2008 served 15,000 students, will cease operations next week. According to media reports, the decision follows the loss of state funding and subsequent loss of private and matching funds. The elimination of $3 million in state funding under Gov. Christie’s 2012 budget was reportedly the final nail in the coffin.
Trenton has six NJ After 3 program sites that will be affected.
“This is a sad day for working families in New Jersey,” said Gusciora. “NJ After 3 was in essence an extension of the school day, and provided working parents the benefit of a safe place where they could send their children after school. I am disappointed that the governor touts education reform for urban schools but vetoed a program that has demonstrated success. He should have continued this program that was clearly working.”
“For many working parents in Trenton, especially low-income and single parents, these sites were not just safe havens, but places where their children could learn a new sport, get help with their homework, and even prepare for college,” said Watson Coleman. “It’s a shame the governor didn’t see these benefits as worthy of saving. NJ After 3 and the thousands of students they served have fallen victim to the governor’s indifference toward working families.”