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FYI: AmeriCorps’ fate turned around sharply last week when congressional negotiators agreed to a massive funding boost for the beleaguered program. Earlier this year, AmeriCorps faced a massive budget shortfall due to what most observers agreed was financial mismanagement, leading even its most ardent congressional supporters to express reluctance about bailing the agency out. The crisis meant AmeriCorps would have to cut more than 20,000 of the 50,000 volunteer slots it currently funds in order to funnel that money back into the program. Advocates campaigned for an emergency infusion of $100 million all summer, but failed to get it. But while wrestling over the omnibus budget bill, House and Senate negotiators agreed to boost next year’s funding by a record $170 million, allotting $444 million for the agency—enough to honor President Bush’s original pledge to expand the program to 75,000 volunteers. [12/2/03]

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