Obama to Sign Serve America Act Today
President Obama is scheduled to sign the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388) today at the SEED School of Washington, D.C. The bill provides nearly $6 billion during fiscal years 2010 through 2014 for service entities, including AmeriCorps and four new corps: a Clean Energy Corps to encourage energy efficiency and conservation; an Education Corps to help increase student engagement, achievement, and graduation; a Healthy Futures Corps to improve health care access; and a Veterans Service Corps to enhance services for veterans.
The new law will increase the number of volunteers nationwide to 250,000 from 75,000. and will increase the full-time education award that service members receive in exchange for their work to $5,350 for 2010. It will create the Summer of Service program for middle and high school students to volunteer in their communities, letting them earn up to $1,000 for college costs.
The bill also will expand the focus of the National Civilian Community Corps to include disaster relief, infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, and urban and rural development, according to a summary of the bill available on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee's Web site.
The bill includes a national Call to Service Campaign to encourage all Americans to engage in service and to observe September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.