SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois State Board of Education is seeking proposals for $12 million in federal grant funding for afterschool programs serving large low-income student populations.
The money is available from the U.S. Department of education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It finances academically based activities.
Tony Smith is state schools superintendent. He says the idea is for students to have "a safe place to explore and learn outside of school hours" while benefiting working parents and their communities.
Current programs provide lessons in art, music, character building, physical education and supplemental math, English and science work.
Officials say teachers have reported improved behavior, motivation and academic performance among students participating in the federal program .
Proposals are due Feb. 15.