February 14, 2011

Obama Budget Would Slash Community-Action Spending

President Obama today made good on his promise to slash the Community Service Block Grants program by calling on the federal government to cut the program in half in the 2012 fiscal year, to $350-million.

In addition, nonprofit groups will be required to compete for the grants, which pay for projects that offer education, health care, housing, and other services to poor communities.

The grants are now distributed according to a formula based on the number of people in poverty, with most of the money going to a network of community-action agencies across the country that manage antipoverty projects.

Under the current system, Mr. Obama's 2012 budget proposal says, those agencies are "not held accountable for outcomes."

He proposes the money should now go to the "highest-performing community-action agencies so that scarce taxpayer dollars are targeted to high-performing agencies that are most successful in meeting important community needs."

Mr. Obama signaled in his State of the Union address that this cut would be coming.