Teaching Case - The AmeriCorps Budget Crisis of 2003: Why the National Service Movement Faced Cutbacks and How it Responded (A)

The AmeriCorps Budget Crisis of 2003: Why the National Service Movement Faced Cutbacks and How it Responded (A)


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  • Product Description

    The (A) case (1739.0) focuses on the early years of the program in the 1990s, providing a definitive account—--based on interviews with those who drafted the authorizing legislation--—on how the program was conceived and structured and how it gained Congressional approval, including the political reasons for directing some AmeriCorps grants to large, multi-state “national direct” organizations such as Teach for America, and others to small, local organizations funded through state “service commissions”. Ultimately, the case narrows its focus to the public financial management question about how to fund a special trust fund from which education awards for AmeriCorps members are paid. The case raises the question of how to fund the National Service Education Trust the mismanagement of which comes to spark the 2002-2003 budget crisis affecting the entire programming a way that is both prudential but not overly expensive. In combination with the beginning the of the (B) case, this case can be used to discuss estimation models for funding a wide variety of public benefits, including such analogues as public pension systems such as the US social security system.

    Learning Objective:
    This series of cases raises a range of issues—--financial, budgetary and political--—about the US civil national service program known as AmeriCorps. Known as a “signature” program of the Clinton Presidency, AmeriCorps members volunteer at designated nonprofit social service organizations; the federal Corporation for National and Community Service provides them a living allowance and an “education award” to help pay college tuition.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: March 01, 2004
    HKS Case Number: 1739.0
    Case Author: Howard Husock
    Faculty Lead: Mark Moore
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 17
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: The Atlantic Philanthropies
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
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