Tens of thousands of Americans, from teenagers to baby boomers, soon will get a fresh chance to lend a helping hand in a time of need.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 275-149 March 31 for a $5.7 billion bill that triples positions in the Clinton-era AmeriCorps program, its largest expansion since the agency’s creation in 1993, and establishes a fund to help nonprofit organizations recruit and manage more volunteers. AmeriCorps offers a range of volunteer opportunities including housing construction, youth outreach, disaster response, and caring for the elderly.
The Senate passed a similar measure last month. Congress was sending the bill to President Barack Obama, who has made national-service programs a high priority. His budget proposal calls for more than $1.1 billion for the programs, an increase of more than $210 million. The president plans to sign the measure.
A version of this article appeared in the April 08, 2009 edition of Education Week