Students need places to go after school where they can be safe and productively engaged while parents are working. An estimated 1.1 million students in the state, including young people in Nassau and Suffolk, do not have programs available.
We have an opportunity to address this problem in the state budget. The state now provides $57.4 million for after-school programs. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed to add $160 million starting in 2015-16, allowing 100,000 more students to have access to programs.
Such programs will help close the achievement gap for low-income students and support the development of skills needed for long-term success in the workplace and in life. New York's working families deserve nothing less.
Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, Manhattan
Editor's note: The writer is executive director of the New York State Afterschool Network, a nonprofit agency serving agencies across the state, including on Long Island.