According to Gateway Pundit the new site Change.gov said this as of November 7th:
As of today, November 10th, though apparently changed the 8th it says this:
The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by setting a goal that all middle school and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year and by developing a plan so that all college students who conduct 100 hours of community service receive a universal and fully refundable tax credit ensuring that the first $4,000 of their college education is completely free. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.
In a December 5th, 2007 post to his website, still available, said:
So when I’m President, I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you’ll have done 17 weeks of service. We’ll reach this goal in several ways. At the middle and high school level, we’ll make federal assistance conditional on school districts developing service programs, and give schools resources to offer new service opportunities.
I’ve pointed this out to Tim Zimmermann given he recently said that:
Mandatory service simply does not make any sense. It is not a good idea, there is no infrastructure for it, no public support for it, no leadership support for it, and no money for it. Frankly, it is not something I spend a lot of time worrying about….
I agree it doesn’t make any sense hovever Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel think otherwise. It’s intelectualy dishonest to make these changes without an official announcement of policy change. It’s also dishonest to act as if this is not effectively mandatory. It’s the same trick used by the federal government to get the drinking age to be 21 and there be state laws for seat belts to be worn while driving. Only one state disobeys the federal government. New Hampshire. And that’s only for the seat belt request. Should a state refuse they will see their income tax dollars go out of the state and not come back in. At least a significant portion of it. It’s even worse in this particular case given the government mandates children attend school, continues to tax those who home school or use private schools, and not only would a school not receive federal funds but you can guarentee the local tax payers would continue to be taxed by the federal government at the same rate. If the locals don’t wish to pay higher local taxes and no reduced income taxes they’d have to comply meaning the children would be unable to graduate without doing the national service. Therefore it’s mandatory. And given the requirements for private and home schools imposed by the State it wouldn’t be surprising if they mandated national service for those children too.