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Today's Urgent Action: Call Congress to Protect AmeriCorps
On February 17, The New York Times reported that AmeriCorps may be on a list of federal programs slated for elimination in the new administration’s budget. The fiscal year 2018 budget proposal serves as a set of recommendations to Congress about federal spending, but Congress ultimately makes the final decision about which programs receive funding.
We are asking the Teach For America community to make your voice heard—and contact Congress to voice your support for AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps and other national service programs have overwhelming support among American voters across party lines. A recent survey indicated that 80% of voters agree that we should continue federal investment in national service, which includes programs for seniors and veterans. National service fosters unity and can bring the country together during a time when divisiveness has established itself as the norm.
For Teach For America corps members, AmeriCorps Education Awards provide funding to repay student loans, or pay for future education costs, and provides them two years of forbearance on those past student loans while they are serving. This support is critical to Teach For America’s ability to recruit a diverse corps and fulfill our mission.
Here are four simple actions the Teach For America community can take to defend AmeriCorps today.
- URGENT: Today is National Call Congress Day. Visit Voices for National Service to automatically connect with your members of Congress. The link walks you through the call process, step-by-step.
- Send a written note urging your member of Congress to protect AmeriCorps.
- Use this template to email a letter opposing elimination of AmeriCorps to each member of your congressional delegation. Find contact information for your members of Congress at Congress.gov.
- Use social media to share, like, or re-tweet Teach For America's post supporting AmeriCorps.
Things to keep in mind
- Quantity counts! A significant number of calls can result in action on the part of Congress.
- Timing is crucial. The budget process and the effort to eliminate funding are moving swiftly.
- Corps members, please be mindful of taking action during off hours, not on AmeriCorps grant time. As a reminder, here is a list of prohibited activities for current AmeriCorps members.
Call your members of Congress today and urge them to protect funding for AmeriCorps and national service. Let them know how important these programs are to your community!