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Advocacy

June 25, 2023

Peace Corps, Other International Funding Facing Budget Cuts

For the first time in many years, both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees are both putting forward recommendations that would reduce funding for our nation’s international affairs programs. By Jonathan Pearson More than a month ago, negotiations on the federal debt ceiling which ultimately averted a default of U.S. financial obligations, included an agreement to cap most non-discretionary government spending for the next two years. Now, the Senate and House of Representatives are advancing their respective appropriations bills to fund the federal government for the fiscal year that begins October 1. Our nation's international affairs programs are on the chopping...

August 27, 2022

A Little Relief: Public Service Loan Forgiveness

At last, some good news for the Peace Corps community on Public Service Loan Forgiveness By Katie McSheffrey   Last October, the U.S. Department of Education announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). But that initial overhaul did not include proposals to help Peace Corps Volunteers. National Peace Corps Association has covered this problem in podcasts and in WorldView magazine. Months later, those of us who have been leading the RPCVs for PSLF Relief Facebook group have some good news. First, a bit more background. What the Secretary of Education announced in October 2021 was a limited time waiver, through which...

July 20, 2022

Senate Committee Advances Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2022

Less than a month after its introduction, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee advance major legislation — with broad, bipartisan support — to further reform and improve the Peace Corps. By Jonathan Pearson   Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) came together on July 19 and agreed to advance Senate Bill 4466, the bipartisan Peace Corps Reauthorization Act — which would reauthorize the Peace Corps agency for the first time in over 20 years. The legislation was approved on a voice vote, with all key provisions of the legislation remaining in place. This is another major advance in National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) efforts to...

May 27, 2022

At Last, Here’s Some Good News for the Peace Corps Community When It Comes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program has also been a focus of concern for members of the Peace Corps community, because returned Volunteers were left out of reforms that were supposed to help them. Now here’s some good news. By Katie McSheffrey Photo by JessicaRain / Wikimedia Commons   Last October, the U.S. Department of Education announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). But that initial overhaul, did not include proposals to help Peace Corps Volunteers. National Peace Corps Association has covered this in podcasts and WorldView magazine. Months later, those of us who have been leading the RPCVs for PSLF Relief Facebook group...

April 13, 2022

Action Alert: Ask Your House Rep to Sign the Peace Corps Funding Letter to Provide Robust Support for Volunteers as They Return to Service Overseas

In the House of Representatives, today (April 22) is the deadline for a bipartisan letter from the co-chairs of the Peace Corps Caucus seeking a $40 million increase in agency funding. Now is the time to contact your House Rep and ask them to sign this letter.   By Jonathan Pearson   Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA), co-chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus, have begun circulating a Peace Corps funding letter asking other House members to sign on and ensure robust support for the agency as Volunteers return to service overseas. The letter, addressed to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State &...

March 10, 2022

Peace Corps Budget Update: Congress Votes for Flat Funding for the Seventh Year in a Row

Congress has finally passed a budget for fiscal year 2022. It keeps funding flat for the Peace Corps for the seventh year in a row. To ensure a better and stronger Peace Corps as Volunteers return to the field, and to enable the agency to make needed reforms, Congress needs to provide more funding. By Jonathan Pearson   Congress has completed its work on a budget for fiscal year 2022, passing a $1.5 trillion spending package. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, for a seventh consecutive year, instead of providing new resources to better meet the needs of a changed world, it...

March 2, 2022

National Days of Advocacy in Support of the Peace Corps Underway

On March 3 we kicked off our 18th season of advocacy in support of the Peace Corps. Our key priority: passing the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act. Congressional meetings are being organized, and op-eds are being published. Now is the time to get involved. By Jonathan Pearson   National Peace Corps Association kicked off National Days of Advocacy in Support of the Peace Corps on March 3. For 18 years, this grassroots effort by the Peace Corps community to work with members of Congress has been one of NPCA’s key contributions to Peace Corps Week (which concluded on March 5, 2022). Moving forward, our key legislative priority this year is passing...

February 25, 2022

Peace Corps Week 2022: Events to mark the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps — and to renew a commitment to the work of building peace and friendship

Celebrate Peace Corps Week February 27 – March 5. Events are taking place across the country and throughout the world. Here are a few highlights, including a special forum hosted by the Peace Corps Agency and a kickoff for National Days of Advocacy in Support of the Peace Corps. By NPCA Staff As we mark Peace Corps week in 2022, it is with a sense of both hope and fear. The Peace Corps Agency has announced that the first groups of Volunteers are preparing to return to service overseas in March. The first groups are set to begin service in...

February 24, 2022

The War of Aggression Against Ukraine Must Stop

We in the Peace Corps community stand in solidarity with the people and communities in Ukraine who are now in harm’s way. By Steven Boyd Saum, Jeffrey Janis, and Gretchen Upholt   Early this morning, Ukraine — a free and independent nation — became the victim of an unprovoked war of aggression launched by Vladimir Putin, who ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops to invade. Missiles and shells have fallen in cities across the country. Apartment buildings and hospitals have been hit. Civilians have been terrorized and killed, while many thousands huddle in bomb shelters and metro stations. Meanwhile,...

January 20, 2022

Legislation in Maryland Would Bring Equity for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Seeking In-State Tuition

NPCA President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst and former Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen testified before a committee in the Maryland State Senate on January 19 to argue that returning Volunteers should receive in-state tuition benefits. Those who serve in the military and AmeriCorps already do. By Jonathan Pearson   Far too often, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are left behind at the state government level when it comes to benefits that are afforded to others for their service to our nation. In the state of Maryland, a legislative effort is underway to address one of those inequities: who qualifies for in-state tuition. Marylanders seeking...

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