Today President Obama is sending his Fiscal Year 2012 budget request to Congress, including proposed funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service and its programs. You can read the complete budget request now on our budget page.
The President’s FY 2012 budget requests $1.26 billion for CNCS, a $109 million increase over current funding levels. This request will strengthen our nation’s volunteer sector, foster innovation and civic engagement, and mobilize five million Americans to solve critical problems through national service.
This is a strong budget request that recognizes that national service is a critical, cost-effective investment in our nation’s future that solves problems, strengthens communities, and transforms those who serve.
The service participants supported by this budget will improve the lives of millions of our most vulnerable citizens by strengthening education, expanding economic opportunity, increasing energy efficiency, providing health services, supporting veterans and military families, and responding to disasters.
The budget reflects the Administration’s belief, shared by Governors and Mayors across the country, that service isn’t secondary or separate from achieving national priorities, it is essential to achieving them. It recognizes that national service will have its greatest impact if we target resources on a core set of critical problems, carefully measure our progress, and continually improve our programs – as called for by the bipartisan Serve America Act and our new 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.
The request comes at a critical moment of both need and opportunity for national service. Too many of our citizens are out of work, too many of our young people aren’t graduating from high school, and too many families are struggling to make ends meet. Governments at every level are facing budget shortfalls and cutting back services, and the nonprofit sector is working overtime to meet social needs at a time of declining resources. But this time of need is also a time of great opportunity. Every day, millions of Americans volunteer in their communities, tilting towards problems instead of away from them. CNCS and the network it supports engaged more than 5 million Americans in service last year alone.
This request makes clear that national service continues to be a high priority for President Obama. More broadly, it represents increasing national consensus among elected officials, business and nonprofit leaders, and ordinary Americans that service is critical to addressing our challenges. The growing momentum for service is due in large part to the work you do everyday, and we thank you for your continuing commitment and hard work.
The release of the President’s FY 2012 budget request marks the first step in a long budget process. Later this spring we will have discussions with Congressional appropriators in the House and Senate, followed by committee mark-ups, floor consideration, conference committees, and final passage. We will continue to provide you with updates as the budget moves through Congress.
All the best,
Patrick A. Corvington
Corporation for National and Community Service