Roosevelt Scholars Act Introduced in the Senate

Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have recently introduced the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009 (S. 2789) to enable and attract highly qualified people to work for the federal government.

The legislation would fund Roosevelt Scholars to pursue degrees in high-skill, high-need fields while receiving tuition, room & board, and a stipend in exchange for a commitment to serve in the federal government – the civilian equivalent to the military’s successful ROTC program.The Roosevelt Scholars program is one effort in response to these looming workforce issues within the federal government:

  • 273,000 mission-critical positions in federal agencies that need to be filled by 2012
  • $20,056 average debt of 2007-2008 undergraduates who took out loans
  • $47,503 average total loan debt after completion of a graduate or professional degree program, effectively pricing many of our most talented students out of public service

Over 140 college and university presidents as well as leaders of associations and good government groups have endorsed the Roosevelt Scholars Act since Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Mike Castle (R-DE) introduced the bill in the House (H.R. 3510).

The Partnership for Public Service, an independent organization that educates people about federal government careers, is asking supporters to sign the online petition and send it to five friends who care about affordable education and a talented federal workforce, to call their Senators at 202-224-3121 and Representatives at 202-225-3121 and urge them to cosponsor the Roosevelt Scholars Act of 2009.

Read The Washington Post pieces by E.J. Dionne and Joe Davidson on Roosevelt Scholars.

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