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KERRY OUTLINES RECORD EXPANSION IN NATIONAL SERVICE
500,000 in National Service Within Decade?
National Call to Help Children Learn?Pays for Every Penny
America is built on simple principles: Everyone should have the same opportunity to get
ahead, and everyone has a responsibility to give something back. The men and women
who serve in our military take the greatest risks and make the ultimate sacrifices. John
Kerry honors their service, and he also believes that Americans who are not in the
military want to serve and ought to have opportunities to do so.
Since September 11, Americans have been searching for ways to contribute to our
country. But President Bush has broken promise after promise to rally ?armies of
compassion,? even causing cuts in AmeriCorps because of bureaucratic failures.
Today, John Kerry calls on all of America?s young people to serve, especially meeting
education challenges, and he outlines his agenda for domestic service. John Kerry would
engage 500,000 more Americans in national service each year within a decade,
compared to 75,000 in AmeriCorps this year. As part of his commitment to the fiscal
responsibility this administration has recklessly abandoned, John Kerry will pay for
every penny of his service initiatives with resources to spare. At the same time as he is
making the hard choices required by the reckless Bush deficits, John Kerry is proposing
the largest increase in domestic national service in our history.
JOHN KERRY?S PLAN:
1. 200,000 Americans serving full-time for two years and getting four years of college aid
in return. These Americans will serve in some of America?s toughest jobs, including:
? 75,000 young people helping educate children in troubled schools;
? 25,000 young people improving our homeland security;
? Some 100,000 young people serving in other critical areas, from building
affordable housing, to helping seniors live independently, to keeping our water
and parks more clean.
2. 300,000 Americans in college serving part-time and teaching our children while at
the same time earning help to pay for school, including:
? 100,000 more young people preparing toddlers for school;
? 100,000 more young people helping children learn to read;
? 100,000 more young people helping older students find the path to college.
3. Every penny paid for, with money to spare. John Kerry?s plan requires roughly $13
billion in new resources over 10 years and is paid for by his new initiative to eliminate
the subsidized and guaranteed profits for banks making student loans. Today, bank
profits are set in statutes written by lobbyists. John Kerry will require banks to bid in an
open auction for the business of student loans. He will take billions that now pad banks?
earnings, and instead direct those resources to young people who want to serve America
and pay for college, with money left for other service and education initiatives.
1. AT LEAST 200,000 AMERICANS EACH YEAR IN ?SERVICE FOR
COLLEGE? WITHIN A DECADE. John Kerry?s ?Service for College? initiative will
offer a simple deal to hundreds of thousands of America?s young people: If you will
serve for two years in one of America?s toughest and most important jobs, we will pay
for four years of tuition at the typical public university. Young people will also be able to
use their educational awards to pay off student loans if they have already finished college
or to enter job training, start a small business, or buy a first home. As part of this
initiative, which will build on the success of AmeriCorps:
? At least 75,000 young people will help educate young people by serving as
teachers, teachers? aides, or tutors and mentors to students inside the classroom
and in afterschool programs. These students will serve in the urban and rural
communities where schools have the fewest resources and students face the
largest obstacles to success. Research shows that skilled and dedicated teachers
with the right support and aid inside and outside the classroom make an enormous
difference in educational outcomes.
? At least 25,000 young people will protect our security by serving as police
officers through the decade-old Police Corps, which has helped young people
become police officers and pay for college, and by assisting other first responders
in preparing for, and dealing with, emergencies.
? Some 100,000 young people will meet other critical needs: for example, at-risk
youths can build low-income housing and get needed training through successful
programs like YouthBuild; young people can help older Americans to continue to
live independently; and Americans can contribute to keeping our water and parks
clean. While there is no substitute for trained professionals, national service
efforts like these can make enormous contributions to our country.
2. AT LEAST 300,000 MORE COLLEGE STUDENTS HELPING AMERICA?S
CHILDREN LEARN. As President, John Kerry will call on America?s college students
to join a national crusade to help America?s children succeed in school and get to college.
Already today, about 35 percent of college students engage in community service. Yet
many more students would like to serve but cannot because they must do paid work for
too many hours each week. And many other students aren?t able to contribute as
effectively as they could because of limited training and support. As President, John
Kerry will give nonprofit organizations and campus service-learning initiatives the
training and support to achieve real progress for children. Young people who make a
sustained part-time effort in service will receive help paying for college as well, up to
$2,000 per year. For example, under John Kerry?s plan:
? At Least 100,000 More College Students Will Prepare At-Risk Preschoolers
for School. Trained college students working with the most at-risk children in
Head Start and other early childhood programs can provide one-on-one attention
and support classroom teachers. Studies show that these programs achieve
sustained, measurable results in improving children?s outcomes. One hundred
thousand students could help 200,000 children per year get ready for school.
? At Least 100,000 More College Students Will Tutor Young Children in
Reading. Studies have shown that college students who tutor young children
three times a week as part of a structured classroom intervention or afterschool
program achieve measurable improvements in children?s reading achievements.
These tutors can help America meet its commitment to help every child read
fluently by the end of the third grade.
? At Least 100,000 More Students Will Mentor At-Risk Teens So They Can
Reach College and Succeed There. Many poor teens feel they have no chance
to go to college?only 7 percent of low-income young people finish college by
age 26. But many schools have made great strides with interventions targeted to
teenagers, such as those now supported by the GEAR UP program, which
combine mentoring, tutoring, and aid negotiating the confusing path to college.
Having recently made the transition to higher education themselves, college
students can play a unique role in helping at-risk teens find their way to college.
3. PAY FOR COLLEGE AND SERVICE BY REQUIRING THE MARKET, NOT
THE GOVERNMENT, TO SET INTEREST RATES FOR STUDENT LOANS.
Today, the student loan program effectively guarantees billions in profits to banks at
taxpayer expense. Banks receive student payments, government subsidies, and a
government guarantee against default. Political forces in Congress, not competitive
forces in the marketplace, set bank subsidies at rates as high as 9.5 percent. Studies have
shown that the rates are substantially greater than banks need to make student loans at a
profit. John Kerry will overhaul guaranteed student loans to save taxpayers billions,
without making students pay one penny more. He will introduce market forces by
requiring banks to win student loan contracts by bidding at an auction, getting taxpayers
the best deal at the lowest price. Low costs and high-quality service will be rewarded;
political clout will not be. Many government agencies have successfully used auctions in
similar situations. In addition to other savings, John Kerry?s loan reform will:
? Eliminate $12 Billion in Windfall Profits from Changing Interest Rates: The
government guarantees lenders a certain interest rate on student loans, currently 3.4
percent. When student interest payments fall short of this rate, the government makes
up the difference. Currently, however, when student payments exceed this rate,
lenders get to pocket the extra money. This is a windfall that creates excess profits
for banks. Kerry will eliminate these windfall profits?saving $12 billion according
to the Congressional Budget Office.
? Eliminate $2 Billion in Excess Subsidies on Tax-Exempt Funding: Some lenders
are able to manipulate the Higher Education Act to receive a 9.5 percent interest rate.
In 1992, Congress began phasing out these large subsidies, given to loans backed by
tax-exempt bonds, but their cost continues to rise. Kerry will end these extra
subsidies once and for all, saving $2 billion according to CBO.
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