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Federal budget cuts lead to uncertainty for state's student civic programs

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Chuck Dunlap, executive director of the Indiana Bar Foundation, says federal budget cuts mean the IBF’s Civic Education Program will have no federal funding as of September.

A budget approved by Congress completely defunded the national Center for Civic Education (CCE), which allocates funds to each state. Congress has removed from the 2011 budget the $35 million that had been earmarked for civic education.

Locally, that means IBF’s civic education programs for middle and high school students – Project Citizen and We the People – will receive no federal funds this fall.

Dunlap said the IBF has been anticipating budget cuts on a national level and had already been brainstorming ways to keep the programs afloat. Dunlap said he thinks the programs will survive the defunding, thanks to the support of the bar and fundraising efforts, but changes to the programs are inevitable.

State finals for We the People program are at Union Station every December. Dunlap said the finals will likely be moved to another more affordable location. “We’re still going to have a state final – it may look a little bit different,” he said. The IBF may be unable to provide the usual hotel accommodations for legal professionals who visit Indianapolis to volunteer at the finals.

Andrew Homan, Civic Education Program manager for the IBF, said that Congress included $29 million in Title II A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for competitive grants for national non-profits that provide teacher professional development programs.

Homan said the CCE will likely now compete with other non-profits for grant money but that he does not know what the outcome might be. Regardless, the funding would be “dramatically less,” Homan said, than the amount previously allocated to civic education. Also unknown is whether only national non-profits will be allowed to compete for funds; if so, the Indiana Bar Foundation would be unable to apply for a grant from that $29 million.

Dunlap said the CCE will likely be fighting to be included in the 2012 budget. “We’re making plans in case that does not happen,” he said.

For more on this issue and how funding cuts are affecting other legal groups statewide, see the April 27 edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

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  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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