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We Need a Budget for Service

July 27, 2009

On Saturday, The New York Times ran an editorial about fully funding National Service (ie- The Serve America Act).  Here’s an excerpt, but click here for the whole thing!

…  The goal is to have 250,000 volunteers by 2017.

But the House version of next year’s budget for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services contains $90 million less than President Obama requested for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which manages the volunteer program.

Most egregious, the House omitted $41 million sought by Mr. Obama to expand AmeriCorps next year by 10,000 members, who would be put to serious tasks like mentoring at-risk students, cleaning up parks and responding to emergencies. Applying the House math, AmeriCorps would field about 75,000 to 76,000 volunteers in fiscal 2010, roughly the same level as this year.

… Yes, these are tough economic times, but applications to join AmeriCorps have risen exponentially. Lawmakers should look elsewhere to economize.  — A version of this article appeared in print on July 25, 2009, on page A22 of the New York edition.

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