Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (10/17/1990)

National and Community Service Act of 1990 - Title I: National and Community Service State Grant Program - Subtitle A: General Provisions - Authorizes the Commission on National and Community Service (the Commission) established under this Act to make grants to States or local applicants to enable them to carry out national or community service programs under this title.

Subtitle B: School-Aged Service - Part I: General Program - Serve-America: The Community Service, Schools and Service-Learning Act of 1990 - Authorizes the Commission, in consultation with the Secretary of Education (the Secretary, for purposes of this title) to make grants to States for: (1) both planning and implementing state-wide school-based service learning programs involving local partnerships of local educational agencies (LEAs) and other organizations; (2) community service programs for school dropouts, out-of-school youth, and other youth; and (3) programs involving adult volunteers in schools, or partnerships of schools and other organizations, to improve the education of at-risk students, school dropouts, and out-of-school youth. Sets forth priorities for these various grant programs. Requires provision for participation of children and teachers from private schools in such programs.

Part II: Higher Education Innovative Projects for Community Service - Authorizes the Commission to make grants to, and contracts with, higher education institutions, consortia, and partnerships with other organizations to support innovative projects to encourage students to participate in community service activities while they are attending higher education institutions.

Subtitle C: American Conservation and Youth Corps - American Conservation and Youth Service Corps Act of 1990 - Authorizes the Commission to make grants to States, Indian tribes, and local applicants, to the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, or the Director of ACTION to create or expand full-time or summer youth service corps programs.

Provides for grant allocation and applications. Sets forth authorized projects for conservation corps programs and for human services corps programs. Sets forth ineligible service categories.

Encourages use of program services by related programs administered under the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Directs the Commission to: (1) fund only programs that involve projects on public lands or Indian lands or provide a public benefit; and (2) consult with the Secretary of the Interior in reviewing applications proposing programs or projects on public lands or Indian lands.

Requires program agencies to provide to participants: (1) pre-service and in-service training and education; and (2) post-service education and training assistance.

Limits enrollment in programs under this title to individuals who at the time of enrollment are: (1) 16 through 25 years of age (15 through 21 for summer programs); and (2) U.S. citizens or nationals or lawful permanent resident aliens. Requires that educationally or economically disadvantaged youth be given opportunities to enroll.

Requires program agencies to provide post-service education and training benefits in specified amounts for each participant.

Requires that each participant in a full-time youth service corps program receive a living allowance and health insurance.

Authorizes the Commission to develop regulations and standards for joint projects coordinating activities under this subtitle with activities under programs administered by other Federal agencies (including Job Training Partnership Act programs).

Makes participants and crew leaders responsible to, or the responsibility of, the program agency administering the project. Provides that participants and crew leaders shall not be considered Federal employees, except for purposes of work-related injuries, tort claims procedure, and allowances for quarters.

Subtitle D: National and Community Service - National and Community Service Act - Authorizes the Commission to make grants to States to create full-time and part-time national and community service programs.

Requires that at least 25 percent of funded programs include full-time, part-time, and special senior service participants. Limits the number of States authorized to operate full-time or part-time programs in specified fiscal years.

Requires program participants to perform national service to meet unmet educational, human, environmental, and public safety needs, especially those relating to poverty.

Requires part-time volunteers to agree to serve for: (1) at least three years; and (2) two weekends a month and two weeks during the year, or an average of nine hours per week. Requires full-time volunteers to agree to serve for: (1) at least one year but not more than two years, at the individual's discretion; and (2) at least 40 hours per week. Requires special senior service participants to serve either part-time or full-time as allowed by the Commission. Authorizes the Commission to provide a participant with a portion of specified financial assistance if the State releases the participant from completion of service for compelling personal circumstances.

Allows individuals to serve part-time if they are: (1) age 17 or older; and (2) U.S. citizens or lawful permanent U.S. residents. Requires States, in selecting part-time participants, to give priority to applicants who are currently employed. Allows individuals to serve full-time if they: (1) are age 17 or older; (2) have received a high school diploma or equivalent, or agree to work toward it while participating; and (3) are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent U.S. residents. Allows individuals to serve as special senior service members if they: (1) are age 60 or older; and (2) meet eligibility criteria established by the Commission.

Directs the Commission and the State to provide to each participant annually a nontransferable post-service benefit equal to: (1) $2,000 for each year of part-time service; and (2) $5,000 for each year of full-time service. Makes special senior service participants ineligible for such post-service benefits. Limits use of such post-service benefits to payment of: (1) a student loan; (2) downpayment or closing costs for a first home (only for part-time service); or (3) tuition at an institution of higher educaiton on a full-time basis, or expenses of full-time participation in an approved apprenticeship program. Allows States to apply for a waiver to reduce the amount of the post-service benefit to an amount equal to average costs of four-year public colleges or universities within the State.

Requires that each full-time participant receive a living allowance and health insurance. Requires that each full-time (or part-time) special senior service participant receive an equivalent (or prorated) living allowance and such other assistance as the Commission considers necessary and appropriate.

Requires that each participant receive three weeks of specified training conducted by the Commission in cooperation with the State. Authorizes States to provide additional training. Requires that each participant receive additional training from the sponsoring organization in relevant skills.

Requires each training program to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

Directs the Commission to develop opportunities for cooperation between public and private entities in the funding and execution of a program under this subtitle, including cost-sharing arrangements with sponsoring organizations.

Requires each State receiving funds under this subtitle to provide to each full-time participant in-service educational services and materials to enable such participant to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent.

Subtitle E: Innovative and Demonstration Programs and Projects - Part I: Limitation on Grants - Directs the Commission to make grants for not fewer than three programs authorized in this subtitle.

Part II: Governors' Innovative Service Programs - Authorizes the Commission to make grants to States or Indian tribes to create innovative volunteer and community service programs. Sets forth grant award criteria and application requirements.

Part III: Peace Corps - Authorizes the Commission to make grants to the Director of the Peace Corps or the Director of ACTION (the Directors) to carry out training and educational benefits demonstration programs.

Makes eligible for such program participation any individual who: (1) has satisfactorily completed at least two years at a higher education institution, is enrolled in a bachelor's degree program of at least four years and will complete it within two years; (2) agrees to serve at least three years as a Peace Corps or VISTA volunteer; and (3) is selected under a specified competitive process. Limits to 50 the number of individuals who shall be selected to participate in such training programs.

Requires the Directors to provide a Peace Corps or VISTA training program for the selectees as part of their course of study at their institution of higher education.

Requires that selectees receive certain educational benefits to cover costs of their last two years of study. Requires repayment if the individual fails to complete the educational program or the service requirement. Authorizes the Secretary of Education (the Secretary) to collect such repayments.

Requires the General Accounting Office to evaluate such demonstration programs and submit an interim and a final report to the President and the Congress, with recommendations by the Directors and the Secretary.

Part IV: Other Volunteer Programs - Authorizes the Commission to makes grants and contracts for rural youth service demonstration projects.

Authorizes the Commission to make grants, to grantees under the Foster Grandparent program of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act, to increase the number of low-income older individuals who provide services to children in Head Start programs.

Authorizes the Commission to make grants to public and private nonprofit organizations for employer-based retiree volunteer programs.

Subtitle F: Administrative Provisions - Prohibits the Commission from awarding more than one grant during each fiscal year to each State under this title. Requires each State to consolidate all of its applications under subtitles B through E. Allows a grant awarded to a State to be used for multiple programs in accordance with applications which have been consolidated, submitted, and approved.

Sets forth reporting requirements for States and local grantees. Directs the Commission to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees.

Sets forth fund supplementation requirements and prohibitions against certain uses of funds. Prohibits programs assisted under this title from impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.

Sets forth nondiscrimination provisions.

Prohibits an individual responsible for operation of a project assisted under this title from discriminating on the basis of religion against a participant or project staff member paid with funds received under this title; but makes such prohibition inapplicable to the employment, with assistance under this title, of any project staff member who was employed by the organization operating the project on the award date of the grant under this title.

Provides for: (1) notice, hearing, and grievance procedures relating to grants and contracts under this title; (2) nonduplication of programs and activities; (3) nondisplacement of employees;(4) standards of conduct at program sites; (5) State advisory boards; and (6) evalutation of and reports on programs assisted under this title.

Prohibits States from engaging a participant to serve in any program assisted under this title unless and until amounts have been appropriated under title V of this Act for the provision of post-service benefits and for the payment of other necessary expenses and costs associated with that participant.

Sets forth provisions relating to the treatment of post-service education and housing benefits or living allowances received under this Act for purposes of certain student aid determinations under the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Directs each Federal agency and department head to: (1) design and implement a comprehensive strategy to involve the agency's or department's employees in partnership programs with elementary and secondary schools; and (2) report to the appropriate congressional committees on the implementation of such strategy.

Provides that a service opportunity through which a part-time participant services as a classroom tutor under the supervision of a qualified professional shall be considered an acceptable placement if specified requirements are met.

Subjects all programs receiving grants under this title to the Drug-Free Workplace Requirements for Federal Grant Recipients under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

Makes conforming amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Subtitle G: Commission on National and Community Service - Establishes a Commission on National and Community Service (the Commission) to administer the programs under this title.

Provides that the Commission shall be administered by a Board of Directors (the Board) consisting of members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Makes specified Federal officials ex-officio members.

Directs the Board to: (1) design and administer programs under this title; (2) provide training and technical assistance; (3) consult with, and delegate to, appropriate Federal agencies; (4) arrange for program evaluation (including evaluation of program impact on Armed Forces' recruitment); and (5) advise the President and the Congress.

Directs the Board to provide assistance to not more than four regional service clearinghouses.

Authorizes the President, through the Commission, to make Presidential Awards for service to: (1) individuals demonstrating outstanding community service, including school-based service; (2) outstanding service-learning and community service programs; and (3) outstanding teachers in service-learning programs. Authorizes one or more individual, one or more teaching, and one or more program awards in each congressional district, and one or more statewide individual, program, and teaching awards in each State. Provides for dissemination of information on such individuals and programs.

Directs the President to report by January 1, 1993, to specified congressional committees, with recommendations for improving administration and coordination of volunteer, national, and community service programs administered by Federal entities.

Title II: Modifications of Existing Programs - Subtitle A: Publication - Amends under the Higher Education Act of 1965 for the direct (Perkins) and guaranteed (Stafford) student loan programs to require publicizing of the loan repayment deferral program for full-time volunteers with the Peace Corps, VISTA, and tax-exempt organizations of demonstrated effectiveness in the field of community service.

Requires informing students of this deferral program option in their exit counseling. Requires the Secretary of Education to: (1) provide students with specified information on the deferral program; and (2) gather data on loan deferrals and cancellations for such volunteers.

Subtitle B: Youthbuild Projects - Amends the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 to authorize the Director of the ACTION Agency to make grants for up to 90 percent of the cost of Youthbuild projects.

Requires that eligible participants in Youthbuild projects be employed in construction, rehabilitation, or improvement of: (1) residential rental housing for homeless individuals and low-income families; (2) transitional housing for homeless individuals; or (3) facilities for providing health, education, and other social services to low-income families.

Requires that participants be provided: (1) service opportunities on such construction or rehabilitation projects which are integrated with appropriate skills training and preapprenticeship or apprenticeship programs; (2) educational services; (3) personal and peer supports; (4) leadership development; (5) preparation for and placement in unsubsidized employment; and (6) support services and need-based stipends to enable program participation, as well as support services, for up to six months after completion of training, to assist in retaining employment. Conditions provision of service opportunities upon individual attendance and participation in educational services and activities.

Bases participant eligibility, with certain exceptions, on the individual's being: (1) 16 to 24 years of age; (2) economically disadvantaged; and (3) a high school dropout with reading and mathematics skills at or below the eighth grade level. Limits an individual's full-time participation to between six and 18 months.

Provides for: (1) living allowances; (2) contracts; (3) performance standards; (4) applications; (5) selection of projects; and (6) management and technical assistance.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1993 for Youthbuild Projects.

Subtitle C: Amendments to Student Literacy Corps - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require Student Literacy Corps programs to give priority to tutoring services to: (1) illiterate parents of educationally or economically disadvantaged elementary school students, with special emphasis on single-parent households; and (2) educationally disadvantaged students receiving services under chapter 1 of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Directs the Secretary of Education to apply such priorities to appropriations exceeding a specified amount.

Title III: Points of Light Initiative Foundation - Points of Light Initiative Foundation Act - Authorizes the President to designate a private, nonprofit organization (the Foundation) to receive funds upon determination that it can carry out the following undertakings: (1) encouraging every American and American institution to help solve the most critical social problems by volunteering through community service projects and initiatives; (2) identifying, and disseminating information on, successful and promising community service projects and initiatives; (3) discovering and encouraging new leaders, and developing individuals and institutions as strong examples of commitment to serving others; and (4) convincing all Americans that a successful life includes serving others.

Provides that such funds shall be granted to the Foundation to assist it in carrying out those undertakings, and for administrative expenses. Sets forth conditions on receipt of such funds, and Foundation powers and functions.

Requires the Foundation to: (1) report annually to the President and the Congress on Foundation activities and expenditures; (2) procure annual independent audits; and (3) raise at least 25 percent of its funds from private sector donations.

Title IV: Food Donations - Expresses the sense of the Congress that each of the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories and possessions should: (1) encourage the donation of apparently wholesome food or grocery products to nonprofit organizations for distribution to needy individuals; and (2) consider the model Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (which is provided later in this title) as a means of encouraging such donation. Directs the Archivist of the United States to distribute a copy of such model Act to the chief executive of each of the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories and possessions.

Good Samaritan Food Donation Act - Sets forth a model Act, with no force or effect in law, to serve as a model for States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories and possessions in enacting laws which exempt from certain types of liability persons or organizations which donate, or collect or glean donations of, apparently wholesome food for distribution to needy individuals.

Title V: Authorization of Appropriations - Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1993 for title I and title III of this Act.

Title VI: Miscellaneous Provisions - Amends the Rail Passenger Service Act to provide that other Federal, State, and local laws (as well as specified provisions of the Public Health Service Act) shall not apply to waste disposal from railroad conveyances operated in intercity rail passenger service. Requires that new intercity rail passenger cars manufactured after a specified date be built to provide for the discharge of human wastes only at servicing facilities. Requires the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to retrofit those of its intercity rail passenger cars which were manufactured during a specified period with human waste disposal systems which provide for discharge of such wastes only at servicing facilities. Requires such retrofit program to be completed, subject to appropriations, by a specified date, and all cars that do not provide for such discharge to be removed from service after such date. Requires Amtrak to submit to appropriate congressional committees a plan with a schedule and projected cost for completion of such retrofit program within such time limit. Directs the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations to: (1) mitigate the impact of the discharge of human waste from railroad passenger cars on areas that may be considered environmentally sensitive; and (2) require Amtrak to publish information and make public address announcements explaining its existing disposal technology and the retrofit and new equipment program, and encouraging passengers using existing equipment not to dispose of wastes in stations, railroad yards, or environmentally sensitive areas.

Authorizes the President, pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, if it would strengthen international cooperation, to provide for an exchange program (to be coordinated by the U.S. Information Agency) with countries in transition from totalitarianism to democracy, including but not limited to Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. Authorizes transfers of funds for such purpose.