Relay Calls on Congress to Protect Funding

March 30, 2017

Relay Calls on Congress to Protect Funding

AmeriCorps and Title II funds provide critical resources for our nation’s public schools.

The president’s proposed 2018 fiscal budget would eliminate funding for Title IIA (Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants) of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps. As Congress begins the important work of responding to that proposed blueprint and building the FY 2018 budget, Relay Graduate School of Education calls on congressional leaders to protect these critical investments in the next generation of teachers.
    
Relay’s aspiring teachers, including 750 current AmeriCorps members, work full-time in high-needs PK-12 public schools, while completing coursework as graduate students. Through partnerships with PK-12 public schools serving low-income students, this innovative model uses Title II and AmeriCorps funding to make available an affordable, high quality graduate education for teachers from diverse backgrounds. At a time when teacher shortages are widespread and predictions are that the shortfall could grow to over 100,000 teachers nationwide by 2018, Relay has created new pathways for aspiring teachers and developed a pipeline of educators for our country. 

In 2015, Congress worked across the aisle to overhaul Title II in ESSA. These changes, which called for more on-the-job training for teachers in low-income communities, are set under law to take effect in the fiscal 2018 year. Yet the president’s budget blueprint eliminates this program. In doing so, it removes a critical investment in educators, public servants, and children, and it disregards the important bipartisan steps Congress took in overhauling the federal education law.

Relay is a model of what AmeriCorps and Title II, both longstanding federal funding streams, were intended to achieve: a movement of effective and supported teachers and public servants committed to serving students who need effective teachers the most. We encourage Congress to reject these cuts to Title II and CNCS, including AmeriCorps, and to fund fully these critical investments in our nation’s future.