National Service

Should educational aid be linked to community service?


Millions of Americans volunteer in thousands of community service programs across the country -- from tutoring disadvantaged children to assisting the elderly in nursing homes. Now Congress is considering a $7.4 billion program proposed by President Clinton that would create a federally coordinated national service program to spur community spirit, increase access to higher education and put new graduates to work in meaningful jobs. The legislation, likely to come to floor votes by summer's end, would give full-time volunteers $5,000-a-year education grants for up to two years. It also would create 25,000 community service positions in 1994 and 150,000 jobs by 1997. Opponents say the plan favors middle-class youths and would create an unneeded bureaucracy.

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