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Funding cut sought for after-school program

Ford asks council to give money to other agencies

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    City Councilman Jack Ford

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Days ahead of a City Council vote to set fiscal-year federal funding for social-service agencies and homeless shelters, Councilman Jack Ford on Thursday proposed eliminating funding for an after-school program operating at two city schools and shifting the money to other groups.

After-School All Stars, a national program that operates in Columbus, Toledo, and Dayton, requested $50,000 for its activities at Birmingham and Walbridge elementary schools. It was recommended by a citizen-review committee and the Collins administration to get $49,150 for the upcoming federal funding grant year that runs from July 1 through June 30, 2015.

Mr. Ford wants that money instead directed to UpTown Association Inc., a community development corporation in the UpTown neighborhood; Adelante Inc., and the Economic Opportunity Planning Association.

Mr. Ford expressed some concern about the after-school program and the fact that it operates with two executive directors in Columbus.

He also wants the agencies seeking federal money required to file a fund-raising plan for three years based on the assumption Community Development Block Grant Funding will decrease 1 percent annually.

Toledo got a reduction in block grant money — down about 1.7 percent from last year to nearly $6.89 million for the upcoming federal funding grant year that runs from July 1 through June 30, 2015. That will mean less money for most groups.

UpTown Association requested $78,309 but was recommended to receive $40,000; Adelante requested $40,000 but was recommended to receive $30,640, and EOPA requested $451,000 in block grant money, up from the $300,000 it received last year. It was recommended to receive just $196,000.

Mr. Ford sent council a request to give UpTown $15,000 additionally, Adelante $5,000 more, and an $20,000 more to EOPA, with the stipulation the money be used for homes on its waiting list for repairs. Each home would be limited to $3,000. Council could allocate the remaining $9,150 elsewhere, he said.

Eileen Kerner, associate director of After-School All Stars in Toledo, said she will ask council to continue the funding.

Last year, the group got $50,000 in CDBG money.

“This program is a continuation of the school day, not a drop-in program,” Ms. Kerner said.

Each school has 80 students in the program, which receives in-kind donations for things like office space from Toledo Public Schools.

“We used it for program providers, which is the enrichment part of the program when we have people from places like Sauder Village, the zoo, or dance instructors come in for a program,” Ms. Kerner said. “It pays for supplies and opportunities for the kids to go on field trips."

The After-School All Star 2012 federal tax returns shows its co-executive directors were paid $65,612 and $57,892 that year.

Twenty-eight social service agencies and 13 homeless services providers applied for federal funding through the city. Others also face funding cuts.

Terry Glazer, chief executive director of United North community development corporation in the ONE Village area of North Toledo, said the agency has been cut 40 percent over two years.

Mr. Glazer said United North has been honored as the best community development corporation in the state and that it has invested millions in North Toledo.

“I would hate to see our organization decline,” he said. “We do feel a 40 percent cut is an extreme measure.”

United North requested $349,959 but was recommended to get just $206,039.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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