Pass the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act
It has been more than twenty years since Congress has reauthorized the Peace Corps Act. In 2022, National Peace Corps Association’s top priority is to see Congress pass the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act, comprehensive legislation that seeks to address longstanding proposals for reforms and more recent initiatives to bring further improvements to service and its impact for the next generation of Volunteers and the communities where they serve. A number of these provisions are found in NPCA’s Peace Corps Connect to the Future report.
Funding for the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps’ budget amounts to less than 1% of the U.S. International Affairs Budget, which itself is less than 1% of all federal spending. The annual appropriation for the Peace Corps has been flat for the past six years. With Peace Corps Volunteers returning to service, and numerous improvements and reforms needed, we can’t afford a seventh consecutive year of flat funding.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
In late 2021 the federal Department of Education announced plans to reform the beleaguered Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is intended to support thousands of individuals with student loan relief in return for a commitment to public service. In reviewing and revising its program, the Education Department needs to make sure that impacted Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are provided fair and equitable treatment.
Diversity in the State Department
As the Peace Corps is receiving praise for its plans to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion among its ranks, and as the Peace Corps community considers how to assist in these efforts, legislation in the House of Representatives calls for sustained and systemic reforms in our diplomatic ranks.
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