Tina Chong
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Statement by Michael Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of City Year, on the White House’s Proposed Elimination of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service

Administration’s Budget Proposal Puts at Risk Critical Community Supports and Highly Successful Civic Platform

BOSTON, MA (February 14, 2018) – City Year, an education nonprofit fueled by AmeriCorps that is dedicated to helping students and schools succeed, today issued a statement from its CEO and Co-Founder, Michael Brown, on the White House FY19 Budget, which proposes to eliminate AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National Community Service. 

“On Monday, the White House released a budget proposal that calls for the elimination of AmeriCorps, the national service program through which one million Americans have served their country— responding to disasters, serving in schools, supporting veterans, building affordable housing and working with rural communities.

“At City Year, we harness the energy and talent of our nation’s young adults to help students and schools succeed. AmeriCorps makes it possible for our diverse teams of City Year AmeriCorps members to serve full-time alongside teachers, establish positive relationships with students, and provide evidence-based, integrated academic and social-emotional supports designed to help students thrive in school and in life.

“The loss of AmeriCorps would be a grave and serious loss for our country and the many people whose lives have been transformed through national service – both those who are served, and those who step forward to serve. For City Year, the elimination of AmeriCorps puts at risk the service of 3,000 City Year AmeriCorps members who support more than 200,000 students in more than 300 high-need urban schools in 28 U.S. cities every day.

“AmeriCorps represents one of our nation’s most successful public-private partnerships. Every dollar invested by the federal government is matched 1:1 from private and local sources and economists have found that national service provides a nearly four-to-one return on every dollar spent. 

“AmeriCorps members serve with more than 3,000 local organizations across the country that are selected through a highly competitive process that awards funding based on evidence of impact. These organizations include: City Year, Teach For America, Reading Partners, Jumpstart, Citizen Schools, YouthBuild, Habitat for Humanity, Student Conservation Association, Playworks, Food Corps, FEMA Corps, and many others. 

“At a time when students and families are struggling to meet the costs of college, AmeriCorps provides college scholarships and debt relief—more than $3.3 billion total since AmeriCorps’ founding—to those who serve.

“For decades, AmeriCorps has enjoyed bipartisan support in Congress and from both Republican and Democratic presidents since 1994. AmeriCorps also has widespread public support—a poll showed that 83 percent of registered voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, support increased or maintained federal investment in national service. 

“We are concerned that the budget also eliminates many programs that provide opportunities for students to access a quality education, including Promise Neighborhoods, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants along with ESEA Title II, A funds which are used to prepare effective educators and address critical teacher shortages by creating pathways into the teaching profession.

“We urge Congress to continue its strong bipartisan support of national service and crucial education programs that have evidence of successfully improving outcomes for students across the country. We ask the many supporters of national service, including more than one million AmeriCorps alumni, to speak out and share their personal stories of service and impact, making the case to protect and expand our federal investment in national service.

“AmeriCorps—and the young people who raise their hands to serve their country—represent the very best of America. Now, more than ever, we need to do more to say ‘yes’ to the patriotism and idealism of young people. We need to do more to offer all Americans the opportunity to serve, and to make a difference for our children, our families and our communities.”