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Budget deal would spare AmeriCorps, which supports thousands of schools

Eric Gorski

Schools and education nonprofits that rely on AmeriCorps members may soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief — at least temporarily.

Funding for AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps programs would hold steady under the federal budget deal expected to pass this week, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that finances the programs. President Trump proposed eliminating all funding for the agency earlier this year.

The deal would be a win for 11,000 schools across the country where corps members serve as mentors, tutors, and extra sets of hands in classrooms. As we wrote in February, about half of the agency’s grant funding goes to education-related work, making it a significant player in school improvement efforts across the country.

Its programs include City Year, College Possible, Playworks, Citizen Schools, the National College Advising Corps and a school-based foster grandparent program through Senior Corps.

At Denver’s Manual High School, principal Nick Dawkins told Chalkbeat that the school’s City Year corps members had logged 875 hours helping students with literacy and math this year, in addition to surprising teachers with treats and playing chess to connect with kids.

“In a tighter budget picture, I would hate to see programs like this go away,” Dawkins said.

The budget deal does slash the agency’s Social Innovation Fund, which gives grants to foundations and nonprofits that then distribute money to local initiatives. Many of those programs, like College Bound Dorchester in Massachusetts and KIPP through College in Washington, D.C., are meant to help young people succeed after high school.

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