February 26, 2013

AmeriCorps to Send Volunteers to Failing Schools

AmeriCorps members will be placed in some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools to try to help them improve test scores, attendance, and graduation rates as part of a new partnership announced Monday between the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The new program, called the School Turnaround AmeriCorps, will award $15-million over three years to place nearly 2,000 AmeriCorps members at several dozen failing schools in cities and small towns.

Nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and community groups, are eligible to apply for grants. They will compete with school districts, individual schools, colleges, labor groups, and other organizations.

The partnership comes about a year after the corporation forged a cooperative agreement with another government department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The two agencies jointly established the FEMA Corps, which expanded the AmeriCorps ranks to include members specially trained for disaster assistance.