Frequently Asked Questions About the
Illinois 21st CCLC Program

Got questions about the Illinois 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program? We’ve got answers! The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has created a page of frequently asked questions (and answers) in response to stakeholder inquiries about the Illinois 21st CCLC program. These questions address grant competitions, requests for proposals, support for 21st CCLCs, and related legislation.

1. Is a competition for 21st CCLC conducted every year?

The Illinois State Board of Education does not conduct annual 21st CCLC competitions. Competitions are based on federal appropriations and are generally held in conjunction with a cohort ending.

2. When can I expect the next Request for Proposals (RFP)?

Fiscal Year 15 competition resulted in 87 21st Century Community Learning Centers awards. Due to the funds needed for this cohort and the preexisting cohort (Fiscal Year 13), a competition is not anticipated for Fiscal Year 16. RFP development is projected to begin during the summer of 2016 which will then be posted and completed during 2016–2017 school year so that an award can be made for new programs to begin by July 1, 2017.

3. How are the 21st CCLC funds used by ISBE?

ISBE uses 100% of the funds received for 21st CCLC. The 2% administrative funds pay for ISBE staff and administration. The 3% state-level activity funds pay for the state evaluation, a vendor for technical assistance and professional development and conferences and such. The remaining 95% is awarded to eligible applicants through competitive grants in cohorts.

4. Where can I get more information about Illinois conferences and other supports for current Illinois 21st CCLC programs?

The Illinois Quality Afterschool Program at SEDL, funded by the Illinois State Board of Education, provides technical assistance and professional development to all 21st CCLC grantees in Illinois which includes resources for program implementation, quarterly newsletter, conferences and workshops, targeted technical assistance, webinars, site visits and technology supports such as web sites and databases. For additional information, visit the Illinois Quality Afterschool website.

5. Where can I get more information about afterschool programs in Illinois?

The ACT Now Coalition brings together afterschool and youth development stakeholders from across the state to work towards ensuring that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable out-of-school time and youth development programs. To learn more go to the ACT Now Coalition website.

6. I have heard that there will be changes to how 21st CCLC is funded. Where can I learn more about the status of 21st CCLC in Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization and Federal Appropriations?

The Afterschool Alliance is a national organization that works to increase awareness and the promotion of the quality after school programs. They also provide policy updates on the status of 21st CCLC in ESEA reauthorization and other federal budget issues. To get the latest updates visit the Afterschool Alliance policy page.

To learn more about the Illinois 21st CCLC program, visit the Illinois State Board of Education's 21st CCLC home page.