In his 2003 budget, the President requested a more than $290 million increase in funding over 2002 levels for the Corporations programs. His proposal will support:
25,000 new AmeriCorps participants, who will supervise and train at least 75,000 additional community volunteers;
100,000 new Senior Corps volunteers; and
an estimated 200,000-300,000 students in colleges and universities who participate in the Federal Work-Study program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
The principles and reforms he announced today are intended to make certain those increased resources will go to support stronger and more effective volunteer service programs, and are based upon four main principles:
Support and encourage greater engagement of citizens in volunteering by reforming and enhancing national and community service programs to increase the quantity and quality of service opportunities for Americans.
Make Federal funds more responsive to state and local needs by giving state, local and community officials more authority and flexibility to provide service opportunities to the citizens they represent.
Make Federal support more accountable and effective by investing in opportunities that will produce results for the communities they serve.
Provide greater assistance to secular and faith-based community organizations by including more such organizations in national and community service programs.
The principles and reforms the President is proposing today would:
Make maximum community impact and involvement hallmarks of each of the Corporations service programs.
Expand the role of the states in sponsoring these service programs, while offering them greater administrative flexibility in receiving and using federal funds.
Establish accountability systems for the service organizations that receive federal funds that will include performance goals, measurement of progress toward those goals, and sanctions or corrective actions when those goals are not met.
Help community and faith-based organizations gain access to volunteers supported by the Corporations programs.
Encourage more students to embark upon a lifetime commitment to service by making the Federal Work-Study program for college and university students more supportive of service activities, and by helping Americas youngest students to participate in effective service-learning programs.
Offer volunteers more flexible education awards that may be transferred for the benefit of others, by working with Congress to improve the tax treatment and other features of the new and existing awards, and by eliminating age and income barriers to participation in service programs.