Massachusetts Americorps on the block

SCA just learned that the Massachusetts Senate recently voted to eliminate $750,000 in funding for the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA). This action would effectively shut down the MSA, the state agency that administers all AmeriCorps funding for Massachusetts.

Stripping the $750K for MSA puts at risk $10 million in federal funding, another $10 million in private matching funds, and nearly $5 million in post-service education awards for members. No matter how you add it up, it just doesn’t make sense. And it would be a real blow to SCA’s Mass Parks program.

Please help by sending a letter to your State Senator in the next week. (See sample text below. Find your senator’s email address here) http://members.thesca.org/site/R?i=WYs6hx0hARC7k4IcNZ2BIg.

If you no longer live in Massachusetts, please send the letter to Anthony Petruccelli (Anthony.Petruccelli@state.ma.us), chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

Thanks!

Here’s a sample letter you can send.

Dear [Senator/Rep]: I am writing to urge you to support the House’s recommendation of $750,000 for Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) as a FY’10 Budget Conference Committee priority that will save over $10 million in federal funding for AmeriCorps in Massachusetts. Without this funding, students like me who [work] [live] in your district will loose their AmeriCorps positions across the state.

Last week, the Senate budget recommendation eliminated an earmark in line item 7003-0702 for State Service Corps funds that are administered by the MSA on behalf of AmeriCorps programs across the Commonwealth. Without that line item, Massachusetts will lose the $10 million. Fortunately, the House recommendation of $750,000 would ensure that the $10 million would be preserved, although it represents a difficult, but manageable, 17% cut.

SCA’s AmeriCorps program is one of 22 MSA-funded programs addressing critical needs in the Commonwealth in education, public safety, housing, health and the environment. Over the last 12 years, SCA has fielded over 250 people, inspiring thousands of elementary school children, completing more than 400 conservation projects, and engaging over a thousand community volunteers.