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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 07, 2005

Office of the CEO

   

CEO Message on Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Request

 

Dear Colleagues,

Earlier today the President released his budget request for fiscal year 2006. To continue our important work in meeting local needs, strengthening communities, and fostering civic engagement, the Administration has requested a FY 2006 budget for the Corporation of $921 million.

The proposed FY 06 budget will enable the Corporation to continue to support 75,000 AmeriCorps members, 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers, and 1 million Learn and Serve America participants. In addition, the budget will allow the Corporation’s programs to mobilize and manage at least 1 million community volunteers, bringing to more than 2.5 million the total number of Americans engaged in community service through our programs.

As everyone is aware, 2006 is shaping up as an extremely tough budget year. Given the President’s commitment to national service as well as his desire to control spending and reduce the deficit, the Administration needed to make some difficult tradeoffs. Throughout the process, our goal was to to preserve the core of our programs and to continue our management improvements. In both of those areas, I believe we succeeded. While many discretionary domestic programs are seeing significant cuts, the Corporation as a whole saw a reduction of 0.6 percent – or $6 million out of a total 2005 enacted budget of $927 million.

Here are some of the highlights of the Corporation’s 2006 request:

  • It proposes $219 million for Senior Corps, a $3.9 million increase over the 2005 enacted level. Increases are proposed for each of the three Senior Corps programs, with total requests amounting to $59.5 million for RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), $112 million for the Foster Grandparent Program, and $47.8 million for the Senior Companion Program. The funding will support more than 1,300 grantees and 500,000 volunteers who provide about 120 million hours of service.
  • For AmeriCorps, the budget proposes $421 million for AmeriCorps Grants and the National Service Trust. This level, when combined with the $96.4 million requested for AmeriCorps*VISTA and $25.5 million for AmeriCorps*NCCC, will support 75,000 members.
    • The 2006 request for AmeriCorps State and National will support about 1,000 more member service years than in fiscal 2005. The trend over recent years is that AmeriCorps’ overall cost per member service year has been shrinking as competition has increased and grantees have become more successful in raising match dollars. The AmeriCorps grant portfolio will have a large number of slots for new and recompeting grantees in fiscal 2006, and competition will be intense. We are also excited at the possibility of expanding our Professional Corps program by 1,500 positions to support more health care providers, teachers, social workers, and other professionals serving in rural and poor communities that would otherwise not receive these critical services. Similar to 2005, we are planning to share living allowance and other operating cost increases with our continuation grantees.
    • The AmeriCorps*NCCC request of $25.5 million will support needed capital repairs that were begun in 2005 to ensure participants health and safety.
    • AmeriCorps*VISTA will receive a $2.1 million increase to support some 1,300 community and faith-based groups with a corps of more than 6,500 members trained in organizational and community capacity-building. This year for the first time we are including in our 75,000 member count those AmeriCorps*VISTA members who elect a stipend instead of an education award.
  • The budget proposes $40 million for Learn and Serve America, a decrease from last year but sufficient funding to support approximately 125 grantees and 1,800 local subgrantees that in turn will support one million Learn and Serve America students. To help promote and institutionalize service-learning in schools beyond the grant program, the budget also requests $725,000 for the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse and funding for a new full-time Corporation staff position dedicated to expanding service-learning in schools. It also requests $4.4 million for the President’s Freedom Scholarships to support 8,000 high school students who perform outstanding service to their communities. Learn and Serve America is a vitally important program that puts more than one million students on the on-ramp to a lifetime of civic engagement each year. The Corporation believes strongly in its effectiveness in advancing both academic instruction and civic values, and hopes to support more robust funding levels in subsequent years.

Devoting adequate resources to our core programs and ensuring operation accountability and effectiveness meant scaling back several worthwhile initiatives and activities. Funding is not requested for the Challenge Grant program and the Special Volunteer Program grants in Homeland Security, though the Corporation will continue to make homeland security a priority area through its core programs.

The release of the President’s budget is just the first step in a long journey. Next come appropriations hearings in the House and Senate later this spring, followed by committee mark-ups, floor consideration, conference committees, and more. We will keep you informed of key developments concerning our budget as they occur. More information on the 2006 budget, including a detailed budget justification, is available online at www.nationalservice.org.

Even in this time of difficult budgets, service and volunteering continue to be high priorities for the Bush Administration. For fiscal year 2004, the Corporation overall received a 20 percent increase in funding. That increase has been essentially maintained as very difficult budget pressures have accumulated over the past two years. With the level of funding proposed in the 2006 budget, I am confident that we can continue to play an integral role in increasing service and volunteering in America, and in fostering a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility.

Sincerely,


David Eisner
Chief Executive Officer
Corporation for National and Community Service

 

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