December 8, 2007
Sen. Obama unveils call to action – student aid for community service
Senator Obama this week unveiled a new plan to encourage community service, including giving more aid to students who log a certain number of volunteer hours in a year. Included in the press release were the following:
* Expand AmeriCorps from its current 75,000 slots to 250,000 slots, enabling the program to establish five new Corps that address some of America’s most pressing challenges: Classroom Corps, Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans Corps, and Homeland Security Corps.
* Double the size of the Peace Corps from 7,800 volunteers to 16,000 by its 50th anniversary in 2011 and work to partner volunteers with people from other nations.
* Establish a goal of having middle and high-schoolers contribute at least 50 hours a year to community service, and reach that goal through national guidelines for service-learning and additional resources for schools to develop successful programs.
* Create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for Americans willing to complete 100 hours of public service a year.
* Promote College Serve-Study by immediately increasing the percentage of Federal Work-Study Program funding that goes to community service jobs from 7 percent to 25 percent, and helping colleges and universities reach a goal of 50 percent of serve-study over time.