May 31, 2017
President Trump's budget proposes elimination of critical national service programs including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michael Todd, National Director of Marketing & Communications, Reading Partners
(415) 225-9139 | michael.todd@readingpartners.
The White House’s budget would be a huge blow to Reading Partners’ ability to help low-income students gain the literacy skills they need to be successful in school and life
(Oakland, CA) May 30, 2017 – The budget proposed on May 23 by President Donald Trump would provide only a small amount of funding to support the shutdown of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers national service programs, including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, setting the agency up for assumed elimination the following year.
“The loss of AmeriCorps funding would be devastating for Reading Partners,” said Jennifer Harwood, Executive Director of National and Community Service at Reading Partners. “Without this robust public-private partnership, we would be unable to carry out our mission of ensuring that all US students have the reading skills necessary reach their full potential in life.”
If CNCS were eliminated, that would mean that Reading Partners’ AmeriCorps positions including site coordinators, regional site coordinators, literacy leads and volunteer coordinators would all be at risk of being cut. With nearly 65 percent of the Reading Partners workforce comprised of AmeriCorps members, national service plays an integral role in making it possible for Reading Partners to provide tens of thousands of students across 14 metro areas with the early literacy support they need to succeed in reading and in life. Employing a model that combines hundreds of AmeriCorps members with thousands of volunteer community tutors is what has enabled Reading Partners to become a proven, cost-efficient early literacy solution that delivers $2 in resources to students for every $1 invested in the program.
“Reading Partners is just one of the many community organizations across the country that would be impacted by the proposed cuts. Hundreds of nonprofit organizations rely on AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members to expand their reach and drive results. Without the selfless service of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members, local communities will be less able to meet pressing needs in education, health care, disaster relief, and veterans services.
“Congress now has the opportunity to course correct and to protect funding for these vital programs. Fortunately, Congress has consistently demonstrated a strong, bipartisan commitment to national service, recognizing the impact AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members have in the communities they serve. As we make the case for strong national service funding in fiscal year 2018, we – along with the broader national service community – will continue to count on bipartisan congressional leadership to ensure that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps can continue to provide critically needed service to American communities.”
Jennifer Harwood, ED of National and Community Service at Reading Partners
In March, the administration made the same recommendation to Congress in the so-called skinny budget, but bipartisan legislative champions, including Senators Roy Blunt and Patty Murray and Representatives Tom Cole and Rosa DeLauro, sustained funding for the critical work of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, so that communities would continue to benefit from these important programs for another program year.
Background on the Corporation for National and Community Service
National service programs supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) harness the energy and ingenuity of our nation’s most valuable resource – our citizens – to address community needs and help local economies grow. Working hand-in-hand with thousands of nonprofit organizations, dedicated Americans deliver vital services and recruit and manage millions of additional volunteers. At the same time, national service expands opportunity for its participants, especially young Americans, to gain marketable job skills and pursue higher education, which increases their employability and earning potential.
CNCS’s FY 2017 budget of $1.03 billion makes up less than .03 percent of the federal budget. National service is a public-private partnership that recognizes that no single sector can meet our challenges alone. CNCS, which leverages more than $1.26 billion in resources from the private sector, foundations, and local agencies, is helping organizations across the country work in creative ways to tackle our most persistent and costly challenges. A study by economists at Columbia University found that for every dollar invested in national service, there is a $3.95 return to society in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community benefits.
National service is tremendously popular. A poll in nine presidential battleground states found that 83 percent of registered voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, support increased or maintained federal investment in national service.
Note to reporters: To interview Jennifer Harwood or conduct a Reading Partners site visit, please contact Michael Todd at (415) 225-9139 or firstname.lastname@example.org