GIVE Act Gets Robust Approval from the House Labor and Education Committee

Update, April 21, 2009: President Obama signs the Serve America Act into law. To take effect October 1, 2009.

March 11th, the House Education and Labor Committee approved H.R. 1388, the Generations InvigoratingVolunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, on a 34-3 vote. The bill is expected to be sent to the full House for consideration during the week of March 16 and is the House companion bill to the Serve America Act (S. 277).

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Committee Chair

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Committee Chair

Chairman George Miller, Ranking Member Howard McKeon, Subcommittee Chair Rep. Carolyn McCarthy,  Rep. Todd Platts and others on the Committee issued a  Committee summary of the GIVE Act, outlined below:

“America is facing unprecedented challenges – the economy, health care, energy, schools in need of improvement and more. With our public needs intensifying in this recession, there’s no better time to support and energize community service and volunteerism to help our country get through this economic crisis, restore confidence and prepare our nation for the future. President Obama has called on Congress to create new opportunities for Americans to build a stronger country by helping students perform better in school, prepare Americans for green and innovative 21st century jobs, rebuild cities in times of disaster, improve communities and much, much more. This legislation answers his call. It will launch a new era of service that will give Americans of all ages an opportunity to invest through service in our nation’s recovery.”

Specifically, the House Education and Labor Committee’s bill will do the following things, as outlined by the Committee: Continue reading

Michael Brown and Robert Balfanz on National Service

Adding to the chorus of national service supporters this week, City Year CEO and co-founder Michael Brown, and Johns Hopkins research scientist Robert Balfanz have written an opinion piece “Volunteering to Get Tomorrow’s Dropouts on Track” published in today’s Boston Globe.

People who drop out of high school, they claim, not only give us warning signs that they are “off-track” but they can be put back on the right track if they get the support they need from trained, caring adult role models — the type of support that national service participants can offer.

Balfanz and Brown cite national service members’s desire to serve and the relatively low cost (in dollars) of supporting them.