Funding the Kennedy Serve America Act: Appropriations Process Begins Soon in Congress

Obama signs the Serve America Act, 4/09

Obama signs the Serve America Act, 4/09

Beginning in early July, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will mark up the fiscal year 2010 Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations bills.

The Kennedy Serve America Act, enacted in April, authorized the expansion of national service, but offered no promises in terms of how much funding Congress would give the Corporation for National and Community Service to implement the Act. According to the organization Voices For National Service, President Obama’s budget request for the Corporation for National and Community Service totaled $1.149 billion, including funding for:

AmeriCorps: to create 10,000 new AmeriCorps positions (the first step towards the Serve America Act’s goal of 250,000 annual members by the year 2017). Learn why funding these positions is important for local communities throughout the United States.

  • $372.5 million for AmeriCorps State and National grants to support 74,861 members, $101 million or 37% increase over the FY09 enacted level.
  • $97.9 million to support 5,980 full time AmeriCorps VISTA members and 1,690 Summer Associates, a $1.8 million increase over the FY09 enacted level.
  • $26.3 million to support 1,030 full-time NCCC members (and 90 Summer of Service members) on five campuses.
  • National Service Trust: $195.6 million for the Trust, including the first increase in the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award since the program’s inception in 1993 to peg the Education Award value to the maximum Pell Grant award.

Senior Corps: $220.9 million to support nearly 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers, a 3.3% increase over the FY09 enacted level.
Learn and Serve America: $39.5 million to support 1.3 million Learn and Serve participants, $2 million or 5% increase over FY09.
Social Innovation Fund: $50 million to take successful projects and programs to scale and leverage additional capital from the private sector.
Volunteer Generation Fund: $10 million to support grants to states and nonprofits to recruit, manage and support volunteers and strengthen the nation’s volunteer infrastructure.
State Commission Administrative Grants: $16 million to help support the commission’s increased workload.
Corporation for National Community Service: Includes needed resources to strengthen the capacity of CNCS as their mission and services expand. Provides funds for a national Call to Service campaign and a new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11.

President Obama has requested $1.149 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, proposing to invest in many existing and new initiatives authorized by the Serve America Act and laying the foundation for future growth in the other accounts. The Administration recommends increasing the CNCS budget by 29% above the agency’s FY09 enacted level.

House Appropriators are scheduled to hold their first markup session on July 8th and the Senate Committee is expected to meet on July 20th, and will weigh competing priorities. Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Subcommittee members for the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee are listed below.

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