Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3543
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Full Text of SB3543  96th General Assembly




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1     AN ACT concerning children.
2     Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:
4     Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5 Afterschool Youth Development Project Act.
6     Section 5. Purpose and findings. The General Assembly
7 declares that it is the policy of this State to provide all
8 young people between the ages of 6 and 19 with access to
9 quality afterschool programs through a State commitment to
10 sufficient and sustainable funding for programs that promote
11 positive youth development. The need for this policy is based
12 on a series of facts:
13     The General Assembly finds that youth who are engaged in
14 quality afterschool activities are more likely to succeed in
15 academics, employment, and civic affairs than youth who do not
16 participate in afterschool activities. Youth with high levels
17 of participation in quality afterschool programs miss fewer
18 days of school, have lower drop-out rates, and higher rates of
19 graduation.
20     The General Assembly also finds that youth in Illinois face
21 greater barriers to success than ever before:
22         (1) Statewide demand for quality afterschool
23     activities far outpaces the current supply, with shortfall



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1     estimates between 60 and 70 percent.
2         (2) Illinois youth spend fewer hours in school than in
3     most other states and approximately 45% of all children in
4     grades K-12 are either responsible for themselves or are in
5     the care of a sibling during afterschool hours.
6         (3) On school days, the hours between 3:00 p.m. and
7     6:00 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and
8     experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and sex.
9     The General Assembly also finds that the State of Illinois,
10 having demonstrated national leadership in advancing toward
11 universal early childhood education, must also expand youth
12 development programming in order to realize the full, continued
13 benefits of public investment in Illinois' young people.
14     The policy established by this Act will be developed
15 through an afterschool demonstration program the results of
16 which will be used to establish standards and policies to
17 design and fund a statewide system of quality afterschool
18 programs accessible to all youth between the ages of 6 and 19
19 that promote positive outcomes in such areas as education,
20 employment, and civic success.
21     Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
22     "Afterschool program" means positive youth development
23 activities provided to youth between the ages of 6 and 19
24 during the hours before or after school, during summer recess
25 from school, or during the weekends. These activities may



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1 include, but are not limited to, the following activity areas:
2 academic support; arts, music, sports, cultural enrichment,
3 and other recreation; health promotion and diseases
4 prevention; life skills and work and career development; and
5 youth leadership development. For the purposes of this Act,
6 "afterschool program" also means a program funded under the
7 Afterschool Demonstration Program.
8     "Demonstration" or "Demonstration Program" means the
9 Afterschool Demonstration Program as established under this
10 Act.
11     "Council" means the Illinois Youth Development Council.
12     "Community advisory group" means a group of key local
13 stakeholders convened to help ensure effective program
14 delivery through increased collaboration. This group is
15 required as a condition of participating in the demonstration
16 period.
17     Section 15. Illinois Youth Development Council.
18     (a) Creation. In order to effectively achieve the policy
19 established in this Act, the Illinois Youth Development Council
20 shall be created. The purpose of the Council is to provide
21 oversight and coordination to the State's public funds
22 currently invested to support positive youth development
23 programs and activities and to set systemwide policies and
24 priorities to accomplish the following 5 major objectives: (i)
25 set afterschool program expansion priorities, such as



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1 addressing gaps in programming for specific ages and
2 populations; (ii) create outcome measures and require all
3 afterschool programs to be evaluated to ensure that outcomes
4 are being met; (iii) oversee the establishment of a statewide
5 program improvement system that provides technical assistance
6 and capacity building to increase program participation and
7 quality systemwide; (iv) monitor and assess afterschool
8 program quality through outcome measures; and (v) establish
9 State policy to support the attainment of outcomes. The Council
10 shall be created within the Department of Human Services.
11     (b) Governance. The Illinois Youth Development Council
12 shall reflect the regional, racial, socioeconomic, and
13 cultural diversity of the State to ensure representation of the
14 needs of all Illinois youth. The Council shall be composed of
15 no less than 28 and no more than 32 members. The Council may
16 establish a defined length of term for membership on the
17 Council.
18         (1) Membership. The Council shall include
19     representation from both public and private organizations
20     comprised of the following:
21             (A) Four members of the General Assembly: one
22         appointed by the President of the Senate, one appointed
23         by the Minority Leader of the Senate, one appointed by
24         the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one
25         appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of
26         Representatives.



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1             (B) The chief administrators of the following
2         State agencies: the Department of Human Services; the
3         Illinois State Board of Education; the Department of
4         Children and Family Services; the Department of Public
5         Health; the Department of Juvenile Justice; the
6         Department of Healthcare and Family Services; the
7         Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; the
8         Illinois Board of Higher Education; and the Illinois
9         Community College Board.
10             (C) The Chair of the Illinois Workforce Investment
11         Board and the Executive Director of the Illinois
12         Violence Prevention Authority.
13         The following Council members shall be appointed by the
14     Governor:
15             (D) Two officials from a unit of local government.
16             (E) At least 3 representatives of direct youth
17         service providers and faith-based providers.
18             (F) Three young people who are between the ages of
19         16 and 21 and who are members of the Youth Advisory
20         Group as established in paragraph (2) of this
21         subsection.
22             (G) Two parents of children between the ages of 6
23         and 19.
24             (H) One academic researcher in the field of youth
25         development.
26             (I) Additional public members that include local



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1         government stakeholders and nongovernmental
2         stakeholders with an interest in youth development and
3         afterschool programs, including representation from
4         the following private sector fields and
5         constituencies: child and youth advocacy; children and
6         youth with special needs; child and adolescent health;
7         business; and law enforcement.
8         Persons may be nominated by organizations representing
9     the fields outlined in this Section. The Governor shall
10     designate one of the Council members who is a nongovernment
11     stakeholder to serve as co-chairperson. The Council shall
12     create a subcommittee of additional direct youth service
13     providers as well as other subcommittees as deemed
14     necessary.
15         (2) Youth Advisory Group. To ensure that the Council is
16     responsive to the needs and priorities of Illinois' young
17     people, the Council shall establish an independent Youth
18     Advisory Group, which shall be composed of a diverse body
19     of 15 youths between the ages of 14 and 19 from across the
20     State. Members that surpass the age of 19 while serving on
21     the Youth Advisory Group may complete the term of the
22     appointment. The Youth Advisory Group shall be charged
23     with: (i) presenting recommendations to the Council 4 times
24     per year on issues related to afterschool and youth
25     development programming and policy; and (ii) reviewing key
26     programmatic, funding, and policy decisions made by the



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1     Council. To develop priorities and recommendations, the
2     Youth Advisory Group may engage students from across the
3     State via focus groups, on-line surveys, and other means.
4     The Youth Advisory Group shall be administered by the
5     Department of Human Services and facilitated by an
6     independent, established youth organization with expertise
7     in youth civic engagement. This youth civic engagement
8     organization shall administer the application requirements
9     and process and shall nominate 30 youth. The Department of
10     Human Services shall select 15 of the nominees for the
11     Youth Advisory Group, 3 of whom shall serve on the Council.
12     (c) Activities. The major objectives of the Council shall
13 be accomplished through the following activities:
14         (1) Publishing an annual plan that sets system goals
15     for Illinois' afterschool funding that include key
16     indicators, performance standards, and outcome measures
17     and that outlines funding evaluation and reporting
18     requirements.
19         (2) Developing and maintaining a system and processes
20     to collect and report consistent program and outcome data
21     on all afterschool programs funded by State and local
22     government.
23         (3) Developing linkages between afterschool data
24     systems and other statewide youth program outcome data
25     systems (e.g. schools, post-secondary education, juvenile
26     justice, etc.).



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1         (4) Developing procedures for implementing an
2     evaluation of the statewide system of program providers,
3     including programs established by this Act.
4         (5) Reviewing evaluation results and data reports to
5     inform future investments and allocations and to shape
6     State policy.
7         (6) Developing technical assistance and
8     capacity-building infrastructure and ensuring appropriate
9     workforce development strategies across agencies for those
10     who will be working in afterschool programs.
11         (7) Reviewing and making public recommendations to the
12     Governor and the General Assembly with respect to the
13     budgets for State youth services to ensure the adequacy of
14     those budgets and alignment to system goals outlined in the
15     plan described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.
16         (8) Developing and overseeing execution of a research
17     agenda to inform future program planning.
18         (9) Providing strategic advice to other State
19     agencies, the Illinois General Assembly, and Illinois'
20     Constitutional Officers on afterschool-related activities
21     statewide.
22         (10) Approving awards of grants to demonstration
23     projects as outlined in Section 20 of this Act.
24     (d) Accountability. The Council shall annually report to
25 the Governor and the General Assembly on the Council's progress
26 towards its goals and objectives. The Department of Human



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1 Services shall provide resources to the Council, including
2 administrative services and data collection and shall be
3 responsible for conducting procurement processes required by
4 the Act. The Department may contract with vendors to provide
5 all or a portion of any necessary resources.
6     Section 20. Afterschool Demonstration Program.
7     (a) Program. The Department of Human Services, in
8 coordination with the Council, shall establish and administer a
9 3-year statewide, quality Afterschool Demonstration Program
10 with an evaluation and outcome-based expansion model. The
11 ultimate goal of the Demonstration shall be to develop and
12 evaluate the costs, impact, and quality outcomes of afterschool
13 programs in order to establish an effective expansion toward
14 universal access.
15     (b) Eligible activity areas. Afterschool programs created
16 under the Demonstration Program shall serve youths in Illinois
17 by promoting one or more of the following:
18         (1) Academic support activities, including but not
19     limited to remediation, tutoring, homework assistance,
20     advocacy with teachers, college preparatory guidance,
21     college tours, application assistance, and college
22     counseling.
23         (2) Arts, music, sports, recreation, and cultural
24     enrichment, including structured, ongoing activities such
25     as theatre groups, development of exhibits, graphic



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1     design, cultural activities, and sports and athletic
2     teams.
3         (3) Health promotion and disease prevention, including
4     activities and tools for increasing knowledge and practice
5     of healthy behavior, drug, alcohol, tobacco and pregnancy
6     prevention, conflict resolution, and violence prevention.
7         (4) Life skills and work and career development
8     activities that prepare youth for a successful transition
9     to the workplace, including career awareness, job fairs,
10     career exploration, job shadowing, work readiness skills,
11     interview skills, resume building and work experience, and
12     paid internships and summer jobs.
13         (5) Youth leadership development activities aimed at
14     increasing youths' communication skills and ability to
15     help a group make decisions, to facilitate or lead a group
16     discussion, and to initiate and direct projects involving
17     other people including civic engagement, service learning,
18     and other activities that promote youth leadership.
19     (c) Eligible entities. Currently funded or new entities,
20 including but not limited to the following, shall be eligible
21 to apply for funding:
22         (1) Schools or school districts.
23         (2) Community-based organizations.
24         (3) Faith-based organizations.
25         (4) Park districts.
26         (5) Libraries.



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1         (6) Cultural institutions.
2     Priority for participation in the Demonstration Program
3 shall be given to entities with experience in providing
4 afterschool programs in Illinois.
5     (d) Program criteria. New or existing applicants shall
6 demonstrate the capacity to achieve the goals of this Act and
7 meet the deadlines set forth by the Council through:
8         (1) The promotion of the development of those items
9     outlined in subsection (b) of this Section.
10         (2) Evidence of community need and collaboration to
11     avoid duplicating or supplanting existing services, which
12     shall be shown through the creation of or reliance on an
13     appropriate, existing community advisory group composed of
14     a diverse makeup of members that may include, but is not
15     limited to, educators, afterschool providers, local
16     government officials, local business owners, parents, and
17     youth.
18         (3) Cost-effective methods that will maximize the
19     impact of the total dollar amount of the award.
20     (e) Expansion. Three years from the award of the first
21 dollars, initial findings of an outcome evaluation of the
22 Demonstration, conducted by an independent evaluator as
23 described in subsection (d) of Section 25 of this Act, shall be
24 reported to the Governor, the General Assembly, the Council,
25 and the Youth Advisory Group with a hearing scheduled before
26 the appropriate committees of the House and Senate for the



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1 purpose of establishing an effective expansion toward
2 universal access. A positive outcome evaluation, whereby
3 performance outcomes determined by the Council are met, shall
4 trigger a phased-in expansion toward full implementation.
5     Section 25. Effectiveness of afterschool programs.
6     (a) Program standards. Research has shown that
7 high-performing youth programs demonstrate shared features of
8 program quality. The Council shall establish a universal
9 framework of youth development program standards that commonly
10 define measurable indicators of program quality across the
11 diverse array of eligible demonstration program activities.
12     (b) Evaluation and monitoring. Afterschool programs shall
13 be held accountable to universal program quality standards as
14 adopted by the Council. Data informing performance against
15 these standards shall be monitored and collected by the
16 Department of Human Services. Each afterschool program, in
17 coordination with the corresponding community advisory group,
18 shall also assess needs and gaps relative to addressing outcome
19 goals.
20     (c) Capacity-building supports. A statewide program
21 quality improvement system shall be established by the Council
22 utilizing a qualified third party to provide assessment,
23 coaching, technical assistance, and system and professional
24 development. Provided supports shall first target those
25 afterschool programs created under the Demonstration with the



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1 ultimate goal of expansion to support the larger statewide
2 system of youth development program providers.
3     (d) Demonstration outcome evaluation. An evaluation of the
4 Demonstration shall be conducted by a third-party evaluator or
5 evaluators selected through a competitive request for
6 proposals (RFP) process. The purpose of the evaluation is to
7 determine how well the Demonstration Program meets the cost,
8 impact, and quality outcome goals established by the Council.
9 Initial findings shall be reported to the Council, the
10 Governor, and the General Assembly within 3 years from the
11 award of the first dollars and shall be the primary determining
12 evidence to trigger expansion as described in subsection (e) of
13 Section 20 of this Act.
14     Section 30. Funding. The creation and establishment of the
15 Council, the Youth Advisory Group, and the Afterschool
16 Demonstration Program shall be subject to appropriations,
17 however the Department of Human Services shall be permitted to
18 accept private funding or private resources at any time to
19 implement this Act.
20     Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
21 becoming law.