SIGNATURES AND CALLS NEEDED TODAY!! Learn and Serve America on the Brink of Elimination
Yesterday, details were released on proposed federal legislation that would make $37.6 billion in cuts to discretionary spending over FY 2010 levels. Included in these cuts is a $72 million reduction to the budget of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
What does this mean? The House Appropriations Committee included a recommendation that the following cuts be made:
- $40 million from Learn and Serve America (the entire budget for the Learn and Serve America program)
- $23 million from AmeriCorps State & National
- Remainder from other programs under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act, although details have not been made public
If Learn and Serve America is eliminated entirely this week, there is also very little chance that it would receive any funding for next year. The National Youth Leadership Council, the National Service-Learning Partnership, our Save Service coalition partners, and other national leaders have been in close contact with staff in Congress, the White House, and the Corporation for National and Community Service over the past 30 hours to understand the facts so we can have the most strategic and impactful response.
Here are the action steps we are asking each of you to take, with additional details below:
- Sign on to the Save Service letter and encourage at least five others to do the same at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9FCQ3YG
- Call the White House comment line at (202) 456-1111. You can also send an electronic message via this weblink: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact (talking points below)
The national service field sees great danger in eliminating Learn and Serve America. They are willing to stand strong with us against this divide-and-conquer mentality, which would set up other CNCS programs for isolation and elimination. We have collectively crafted a sign-on letter that will be used in our efforts with senior leaders in the Administration, Congress, and the Corporation. Please sign on!
We need to ensure that the White House hears public outcry about the elimination of Learn and Serve America. If asked, direct your comments to the White House Office of Public Engagement and/or the Office Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Please Call!
Talking points that we're finding resonate with the decision-makers are included in the sign-on letter.
Just last week, more than 2,000 people participated in the 22nd Annual National Service-Learning Conference—it was an amazing and inspiring event that truly showcased the power of young people to solve problems through service-learning. Thank you to all of you who attended and who have supported service-learning. There is literally NO OTHER TIME THAN NOW to take action.
Always yours in service,
Kelita Svoboda Bak
National Youth Leadership Council