The CalServe Initiative (CalServe) was established within the California Department of Education (CDE) in 1990 with federal funding provided through the National and Community Service Act. This legislation was reauthorized in 1993 and created the Corporation for National and Community Service, which established Learn and Serve America as one of the streams of community service. Since 1990, CalServe has provided funding to California’s county offices of education, districts, and schools to support the statewide implementation of the instructional method known as service-learning.
Federal funding for Learn and Serve America was eliminated from the 2011–12 budget, which in turn eliminated the funding to support CalServe. Although CalServe will no longer be a program within the CDE, the CDE will continue to support the use of service-learning as an important instructional method.