Join this petition to help save service by signing the petition online.
Dear Congressman Robert Woodall and the United States House of Representatives,
Service to our communities is a thread that has been weaved into the fabric of American communities since the beginning of our nation’s history. Yet, on September 29, 2011, the House Appropriations Committee released an FY12 funding bill that, with the exception of just $280 million for Senior Corps programs, completely eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Consequently, cost-efficient programs such as Learn & Serve America and AmeriCorps that serve millions of those in need by filling the gap between local and state government services will no longer have the funding to exist.
Effects of Eliminating Learn & Serve America
- Nearly 1 million students will lose the opportunity to gain valuable academic and workplace skills while working to address critical issues in their communities.
- Nearly 600 individual schools, 450 school districts, 985 community colleges, and 240 colleges and universities will lose more than $25 million in funding at a time when state and local budgets are shrinking.
- More than 35,000 of our nation’s most innovative K-12 teachers and higher education faculty will lose millions in direct funding to support real-world, hands-on instruction for their students.
- Almost 16,000 community-based organizations will lose more than 14 million volunteer service hours provided by students engaged in service-learning, diminishing their capacity to deliver urgently-needed health, environmental, and human services to areas most in need.
- American towns and cities across will lose access to student volunteers whose services are valued at up to $310 million.
- Learn and Serve America (LSA) is the only federal program dedicated to investing in service-learning in local schools, colleges and universities. LSA represents only 3% of the CNCS budget, although it yields 70% of the Corporation's total participants. Through LSA, young people become engaged learners, ready for success in school and in life. Youth become active contributors to society, not just recipients of service by others and their vital role must not be overlooked or underestimated.
Effects of Eliminating AmeriCorps
- 620,000 seniors would not receive life sustaining, in-home services.
- Thousands of healthy meals will not be delivered to the elderly every day.
- More than 745,000 medically underserved children and adults will not receive health outreach, education and immunizations from Community HealthCorps members.
- With stipends of less than $19,000 year, AmeriCorps employs over 80,000 members who provide quality community services at wages incomparable to their equivalent professionals (i.e. teacher assistants, counselors, non-profit program managers, nurses, construction workers).
- In an era of 20% youth unemployment, programs like AmeriCorps offer an opportunity for low-income, underserved youth to pay for college and build 21st Century workforce skills that they may take with them throughout adulthood.
- AmeriCorps living allowances do not reduce the nation’s spirit of volunteerism, in fact, each AmeriCorps member engages as many as eight non-stipend volunteers.
- Several analyses for the General Accounting Office validated that for each dollar invested in AmeriCorps returned from $1.60 to $2.60 in benefits.
- Organizations like American Red Cross, City Year, Earth Force, Feeding America, Foster Grandparents, Jumpstart, Habitat for Humanity, Public Allies, RSVP, Teach for America, YouthBuild, thousands of local foodbanks, shelters, afterschool programs, and more will be forced to change the way they deliver their charitable services without programs like AmeriCorps.
CNCS was founded on a vision of engaging citizens of every age in service to their country. That vision was shared by overwhelming bipartisan support when the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was passed just two years ago. We must not dismantle one of the core programs of this landmark legislation now. Our students cannot afford to lose the opportunity to learn and serve. Our schools cannot afford to ignore their civic mission. Our local communities cannot afford to lose the critical support provided by students engaged in service-learning.
We, including all signed attachments, petition that you and your colleagues consider the impact H.R. 1 has on solving many of our nation’s largest issues that surround education, employment, health care, access to social services, and lowering America’s debt.
Charles Orgbon III
CEO, Greening Forward
Seung Kwan Baek
Vice-President, Greening Forward