The Republican leadership claims the dropout prevention program is wasteful spending. Have they ever spent time with City Year corps members?
With the budget impasse making a government shut down increasingly likely, calls for bipartisan compromise are coming fast and furious. One budget cut we should all hope the Obama Administration fights back against is the Republican plan to eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that oversees AmeriCorps. Young leaders participating in AmeriCorps programs like City Year work relentlessly to close the achievement gap and help kids stay in school. Given the statistics on dropouts—they are three times more likely to be unemployed than college grads and eight times more likely to be in jail or prison than high school diploma holders—this isn't a program our country can afford to lose.
This year, City Year placed 1,750 youth between the ages of 17-24 in 22 cities nationwide. They are serving full time as tutors, mentors and role models for low income, mostly minority children—the kids that research shows are most prone to dropping out. These "corps members" implement the program's service model, "Whole School, Whole Child," which addresses key drop out indicators: student attendance, grades and behavior. They also work to foster a positive school climate, engage parents and promote student service opportunities.