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Grant Selection and Performance

March 8, 2012

March 2012 Minutes Grant Selection & Performance Task Force

March 6, 2012

Members Present:  Joan McDonald, Susan Hammond, Ron Holmes

Others Present: Staff: Michael Ashmore; Guests: Joely Ross of GoodWill Industries 

Current Issues with Childcare reimbursements from CNCS

M. Ashmore reviewed a communication from the Oregon Commission to the Corporation’s CEO regarding significant issues relating to childcare reimbursements from the Corporation, particularly the extreme delays in payments made to providers and the poor service provided by the Corporation’s contractor.  GTF members were apprised of the status of members in Maine programs who have reported similar difficulties.  Each program was requested to provide information regarding any difficulties faced by members so that a communication could be made to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, should there be problems and/or if problems persist for Maine AmeriCorps members.

MA also shared, the story of challenges faced by one AmeriCorps member (a Maine VISTA Project member).

Closure of Maine Campus Compact sites

MA also reported on the closure of the national direct program, Students in Service (SIS), and the effect of its closure on Maine partner schools.  The Committee reviewed the prohibited activities found in member position descriptions which caused the closure, including at least one in Maine.  9 schools hosting more than 30 members serving in Maine were affected, including Univ. of Southern Maine, Univ. of Maine Orono, UMaine Fort Kent, UMaine Machais, Unity College, St. Joseph’s College, The Lewiston-Auburn UMaine satellite Campus, Maine College of Art and York County Community College.

Members involved in the program were exited by Feb. 29th.  Members with qualifying service received pro-rated education awards and, assuming satisfactory completion up to that date, would be eligible for enrollment in other AmeriCorps programs.  SIS is also eligible to re-compete in other AmeriCorps competitions.  The Commission has reached out to all of the affected schools in Maine and made them aware of potential support that could be provided by the Commission and informed them of the options available through the current RFP’s for AmeriCorps program funding

RFP status report

MA reported on recent outreach events in which information related to the current RFP’s was shared.  The Committee also discussed the option of opening a Fixed Price grant option under the Formula umbrella.  It was noted that it would require an additional RFP, but at least one possible grantee would benefit from the option.  The timeline would be short, this year, but potential applicants would probably be already formulating plans under the Cost Reimbursement option and could easily modify their applications to fit the Fixed Price model.  The Task Force agreed to move forward with this option.

Update on Service-learning Grants

The committee also heard updates on revised plans for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD).  Initial attempts to fund classrooms and schools were not successful despite two RFP’s released over the fall.  Instead the money will be used to support Lincoln Middle School, in Portland, and their involvement as hosts of the STEM Service-learning Summit they are working on with KIDS Consortium.  In return for this support, Lincoln will host a GYSD challenge to promote involvement by other middle schools around the state.  The Task Force agreed that this was an innovative solution to the difficult situation created by having no applicants for GYSD funding