The Obama Approach

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Here’s the Obama faith-based proposal. On first blush, it looks like a pretty modest thing, mostly directed toward building capacity among grass-roots religious (and secular) organizations: training, partnering, evaluation. The only actual program initiative is a $500 million summer learning program for 1 million children–with the money to come, in the usual campaign promise way, from “cutting wasteful spending in government procurement and management.” Of course, summer programs for that many kids will cost a lot more; organizations wanting to run such programs will be helped to apply for grants from community foundations. Bottom line: some useful management, half a billion more dollars than the Bush program, a determination to avoid sticky church-state wickets, and a bit of bully pulpiteering. No reason for Barry Lynn to get all huffy–and he doesn’t, so much.