ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 31, 2017) – The budget proposed last week by President Donald Trump would provide 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 NYLC,” said Amy Meuers, CEO, National Youth Leadership Council. “Without this robust public-private partnership, our capacity to carry out our mission of improving schools and communities with young people will be adversely affected.”
NYLC is just one of the many service-oriented youth 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.
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 one 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.
At the National Youth Leadership Council, we envision a world where all young people graduate high school as actively engaged global citizens by participating in service-learning as part of their K-12 experience. With passion, creativity, and ingenuity, young people can address world issues while strengthening academic and learning outcomes through service-learning. To that end, we provide programs and services that develop young leaders, support educators, and advance the field of service-learning.
Visit nylc.org to learn more about NYLC and service-learning.