09-11A, Evaluation of Corporation for National and Community Service Grants Numbers 04EDHNY003 and 07EDHNY002

Evaluation of Corporation for National and Community Service Grants Numbers 04EDHNY003 and 07EDHNY002

In his weekly address on April 18, 2009, President Obama prescribed a road map instruction to all parts of the Government which he heads to perform "the painstaking work of examining every program, . . . every dollar of government spending and asking ourselves: Is this program really essential? Are taxpayers getting their money's worth? Can we accomplish our goals more efficiently or effectively some other way?" To accomplish this, he instructed his administration to "scour[] our budget line by line for programs that don't work so we can cut them to make room for ones that do."

While the OIG began its "painstaking work of examining" the RFCUNY Fellows Program, and the Corporation's grants to RFCUNY for that program, before President Obama's instruction, the OIG's inquiry and this final statement of OIG's finding and conclusion implement the President's instructions. As this final letter report concludes, the RFCUNY program doesn't work as a grantee of AmeriCorps funds because it adds no service to the community which is not already provided by the Fellows Program, without the AmeriCorps education awards which are at the heart of the Corporation's grants to RFCUNY. Therefore, taxpayers are not getting their money's worth, and the Corporation could accomplish its goals more effectively if the funds for these grants were used instead to provide service by AmeriCorps members in communities where the need exists, not in the RFCUNY program, which has already filled the need.

As we were concluding the draft of this letter report, the New York Times (May 11, 2009, p. A19) reported facts which make the OIG's conclusion, that the grant of education awards is unnecessary to ensure that New York has sufficient teachers, even more compelling; in fact, it establishes that education awards are being used to deprive college graduates of teaching jobs they are seeking, but are foreclosed from obtaining, because of taxpayer-financed Fellows who are chosen over the non-taxpayer-financed new teachers.