Washington, DC -- Congress today gave final approval to the Fiscal 2010 budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service, making a historic investment in the agency and its programs at a time of mounting social needs and renewed interest in citizen service.
The appropriations measure passed by the Senate today provides $1.149 billion for the Corporation, fully funding President Obama's request. This funding level, the largest in the agency's history, will support millions of Americans in addressing national priorities through service, from preventing high school dropouts and increasing energy efficiency to improving health care and supporting veterans.
“This budget is a strong vote of confidence in the value of national service as a critical tool for solving our nation's toughest challenges," said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation. “By fully funding the President's request, this budget will enable us to strengthen and expand existing programs and invest in key initiatives authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.”
The national service budget was part of the FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which now goes to the President for his signature. It contains a $260 million increase over last year, and is the first budget enacted after passage of the landmark Serve America Act, which passed with strong bipartisan support and was signed by President Obama last April.
The agency has been hard at work implementing the new law, and finalization of the budget allows the Corporation to move forward on a range of efforts to create new opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve, focus service on key national priorities, increase efficiency and accountability, support social innovation, and strengthen the nation's volunteer infrastructure.
The budget provides increases for all the Corporation's programs, including a significant expansion of AmeriCorps, taking the first step towards the Serve America Act goal of 250,000 AmeriCorps members by 2017. In addition to increasing member positions, the bill funds the first-ever increase in the dollar amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award members earn in return for their service. The $220.9 million for Senior Corps includes increases for all three Senior Corps programs and will support nearly 500,000 older volunteers to meet local needs through service. The five percent increase for Learn and Serve America will support 1.3 million participants, increase the number of disadvantaged youth participating, and begin a 10-year longitudinal study on the impact of service-learning.
The legislation funds a number of new initiatives, including $50 million for the Social Innovation Fund, which will help solve some of our nation's most difficult social challenges by investing in promising programs and practices that have demonstrated outcomes. In addition, $4 million was included for the Volunteer Generation Fund to develop and improve volunteer recruitment efforts, $1 million will support a new Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, and $2 million was allocated for a new Summer of Service program to engage middle school students in community-based service-learning projects. For more information on the Corporation's Fiscal 2010 budget, click here.