Update on Service-Learning Appropriations

Posted on November 21, 2003

[posted from National Service-Learning Advocacy listserv]

Here is a posting from Nelda Brown.

SEANotes Policy Update – November 19, 2003

On November 18, 2003, the Senate approved the fiscal year 2004 (FY04) VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations bill. This bill includes funding for several programs and activities of the Corporation for National and Community Service -including the Learn and Serve America program. The Senate approved $43 million for Learn and Serve America’s FY04 budget.

The bill will now be reviewed by a "conference committee" where both members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate will agree upon a final spending amount. As you know, the U.S. House of Representatives only approved $40 million for Learn and Serve America in FY04. Analysts believe the conference committee members (or conferees) will likely agree to fund Learn and Serve America at the higher level of $43 million.

For the past three weeks, service-learning advocates around the country have been mobilizing to urge key members of the Senate to not only restore the $3 million cut recommended by the House, but to increase Learn and Serve America’s budget by at least an additional $2 million, for a total budget of $45 million for FY04. These additional funds will be used to provide much-needed research and technical assistance for Learn and Serve America students, teachers, and their community partners, including resources to prepare practitioners to link
service-learning to the teaching of American history, civics, and civic education.

There is still a slight chance that conferees may agree to allocate more than $43 million for Learn and Serve America. It is, admitedly, a long shot, but service-learning advocates remain hopeful. A few key members of both the House and the Senate are willing to "express their enthusiasm for service-learning and Learn and Serve America" to their colleagues on the conference committee. This could inspire conferees to "find" some extra funds to support Learn and Serve America during their negotiations process.

Below is an excerpt from the Senate Appropriations Committee website describing the funding levels approved for the Corporation for National and Community Service as part of the VA-HUD Independent Agencies FY04 appropriations bill.

Remember…you can always find the latest policy updates and news information on SEANet’s website at<a href="http://www.seanetonline.org">http://www.seanetonline.org</a> (click on the Policy News page) or by visiting the National Service-Learning Partnership’s website at <a href="http://www.service-learningpartnership.org">http://www.service-learningpartnership.org</a>

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Senate Passes FY 2004 VA/HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill

Washington, D.C. – The Senate today approved the Fiscal Year 2004 VA, HUD and Independent Agencies Appropriations bill. Highlights of the $124 billion bill are below:

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNSC):

. The bill provides about $484 million for CNCS. This is almost $100 more than the fiscal year 2003 enacted level, $113 million below the budget request, and about $4 million more than the House bill. Both the funding level and funding increase amount are the highest in CNCS history.

. The bill includes $340 million for AmeriCorps, a $66.8 million increase over the fiscal year 2003 enacted level and $93.2 million below the budget request. No cap on AmeriCorps member enrollment included. The bill provides flexibility in funding more "education award only" grants. These provisions will allow CNCS to meet President’s goal of enrolling up to 75,000 new AmeriCorps members in fiscal year 2004.

. Other highlights include $43 million for Learn and Serve, $25 million for NCCC, $10 million for Points of Light, $5 million for America’s Promise, $5 million for challenge grants, and $2 million for next generation grants. The bill also includes $1 million for NAPA study of CNCS leadership, operations, and management structure.


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