NPCA Graph Doesn’t Paint Pretty Funding Picture
By Jonathan Pearson on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
With nearly forty district office meetings organized and carried out by members of the Peace Corps community over the past six weeks (and yes, there are still a few more in the works!), Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) from California to Iowa to Massachusetts have been meeting with lawmakers to discuss a variety of issues – including funding for the Peace Corps.
National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) advocacy program initiated this effort and supported these meetings by providing assistance in recruiting meeting participants and supplying our fantastic volunteer organizers with background and presentation materials to help them prepare for their meetings.
One such item was a visual aid to show the state of Peace Corps funding.
In its budget request to Congress for the fiscal year that is slated to begin on October 1st (FY 2014), the Peace Corps estimated that the number of volunteers in the field may dip below 7,000 for the first time in a decade.
Part of that is likely due to the drop in funding since the agency received a record $400 million nearly five years ago. A graph prepared by NPCA tracked the recent funding cuts Peace Corps (and many federal programs) have confronted since 2010 – including the across the board cuts instituted from the so-called budget “sequestration” earlier this year. With that, Peace Corps funding currently stands at $356 million.
Additionally, NPCA staff looked at what Peace Corps funding should have been to simply keep pace with inflation over the last several years (utilizing the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator). While congressional funding for the Peace Corps currently stands at $356 million, the inflation adjusted funding level should be closer to $430 million.
Finally, the NPCA graph shows the current $30 million difference between the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate recommendation of $385 million would clearly begin to reverse the current funding trendlines, while the House recommendation of $356 million would maintain the status quo.
Click here for the National Peace Corps Association graph on current Peace Corps funding trends.