Tuesday, June 26, 2012


L A Daily News Editorial |http://bit.ly/OqyuaP

6/26/2012 11:51:02 AM PDT  ::  L.A. schools' proposed budget cuts spread the pain around. But perhaps the most sympathy should be reserved for the 50,000 children -- and their families -- who would suffer from the loss of after-school care.

Schools do more than educate. Many working parents also trust schools to keep their kids out of trouble in the late-afternoon hours following classes.

The Los Angeles Unified School District budget that's up for a vote Thursday hits the Beyond the Bell after-school program and others like it.

"Who are we as a community if we turn 50,000 kindergarten through eighth-grade children into latchkey kids overnight?" school board member Bennett Kayser, who is trying to find $7 million to save the Beyond the Bell program, told one of our reporters.

Kayser called on local governments and foundations to step up, noting that even if parents had the money to pay for after-school care, there aren't enough private programs to take on 50,000 kids during the crucial 3-6 p.m. period.

Many families don't have a parent at home when children get out of school. Many of those would face a choice between leaving kids on their own, trying to pay for day care, or having a mom or dad quit a job.

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