AmeriCorps Member Performing Prohibited Religious Activities Leads to Removal of Service Site

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AmeriCorps Member Performing Prohibited Religious Activities Leads to Removal of Service Site

Closed 12/20/18

CNCS-OIG investigated allegations that AmeriCorps members (member) serving in the Teach for America (TFA), New York, NY, AmeriCorps program at the El Centro Incorporated, Academy for Children (El Centro), Kansas City, MO, service site were directed to perform prohibited religious activities.

The investigation confirmed that one member regularly performed a prohibited religious activity by leading a religious prayer to the students in the classroom three times a day during service hours, a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12584a(a)(7).

Agency/Administrative Actions

CNCS management concurred with CNCS-OIG’s finding that a TFA member performed a prohibited activity by leading a religious prayer with students and took the following actions: (1) TFA removed El Centro as a service site for the 2018 grant year; (2) TFA senior staff provided additional training on prohibited activities to regional staff; (3) TFA issued guidance to regional staff on their responsibilities to train site supervisors on prohibited activities; and (4) TFA senior staff decided to review any member placements at religious schools in the future to ensure that prohibited activities would not be assigned.

Case ID 2018-018