With days to go before school starts, some Irving ISD parents are scrambling for after school care. That means after-school programs at nearly half the district’s campuses have been cancelled.
The announcement in late July was as much a surprise to the district as to anyone. Irving ISD emailed the news to parents. It said due to lack of funding, the Amadi Guess Foundation, the district could no longer pay for the free after-school programs offered on at least 16 campuses. Christina Hanger says the loss sent ripples through roughly 1,700 Irving families. She runs the non-profit Dallas AfterSchool.
“These are parents now that with very little notice don’t have a place for children to be after school,” Hanger said. “If you’re a working parent, having your child having to come home alone definitely impacts your productivity and frequently also impacts people’s ability to work.”
Dallas AfterSchool connects parents with after-school programs. Hanger is trying to help Irving parents, and says after-school programs make a difference for both working families and the children. She says programs impact more than academics.
"There are a lot of hours during after school time where we need to be providing for our children to make sure they are safe,” Hanger said, “to make sure they are fed, that they have help discovering the things they are good at and like to do.”
Irving ISD says it’s working on a solution and hopes to launch a new after-school program by January.