Campaign to Save Adult Education on the Federal Level Successful

The campaign to prevent consolidation of adult education funding on the federal level has been successful!  The campaign is therefore closed; the following alert will be kept on the blog for reference purposes.  Thanks so much to those who participated in the campaign.

FYI – Forwarded COABE Alert

Begin forwarded message

From: <>

Date: April 19, 2012 7:01:54 AM PDT


Subject: [COABE-Region7] Alert: Do Not Consolidate Adult Education Funding in WIA Reauthorization!


Dear COABE Contact Network and COABE Members,

On March 29th, Members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee introduced The Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (HR 4297). As early as next week, the full Committee may meet to markup the bill as the next step in reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Created in 1998 through a bipartisan process, WIA—the legislation which provides for adult education programs—has not been updated since then. Now, House Republicans are moving their legislation forward to markup.

If this bill were to become law, it would allow states to consolidate adult education funding together with a newly-created fund that provides for a broad set of general workforce activities, including job seeking services, without requiring states to use the funding for adult education and literacy services. This could result in significantly less money for adult education.

The National Coalition for Literacy has also identified several additional concerns with the bill. You might share in some of these concerns as well:

Action Request:

This is a targeted alert for advocates whose U.S. Representative serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee (see list below).


  1. If your U.S. Representative      is listed below, call his or her office (Find Phone number here:
  2. Ask to speak to the      Representative’s Education Legislative Assistant.
  3. Tell the Congressional      staffer, “I have several concerns regarding H.R. 4297, the Workforce      Investment Improvement Act of 2012. First and foremost, I do not support      giving states the option to consolidate adult education and family      literacy funding (Title II) which is allowed in this bill.”
  4. Speak from your experience      on the need and demand for adult education and literacy services in your      community. Use any of the suggested talking points below.
  5. Tell us how the staff      person responds by entering your feedback in the alert form:
  6. Follow up with an email to      the education legislative assistant you spoke with outlining your      concerns.

Suggested Talking Points:

  • Adult education and      literacy programs serve a unique and diverse population of adults who need      to boost their basic education and literacy skills or learn English in      order to get or keep a job with a family sustaining wage, transition to      postsecondary education or training, be actively involved in their      children’s education, or to function well in society and civic life. These      targeted funds need to be maintained in order to ensure those most in need      of these programs can be served.
  • The consolidation proposal      could drastically reduce the availability of adult education and English      language services  for a unique and      diverse population of low-skilled workers in states across the country      because it would give states the option to use adult education and      literacy funding for other activities, unrelated to the mission of Title      II of WIA.
  • While I want to see adult      education and workforce training services aligned, I do not want to see      adult education services reduced or replaced.
  • Nationally, the adult      education and literacy system serves just under 2 million adults out of      the 93 million in need of services. 30 million of these adults cannot read      well enough to complete a job application. The unemployment rate for the      undereducated is three times greater than those with a bachelor’s degree      or higher.
  • Adult education and      literacy programs already struggle to meet the current demand and are      severely under-resourced. Fifty out of 51 states and territories had      waiting lists for local adult education programs in 2009-2010, according      to the most recent survey. The number of people on waiting lists doubled      between 2008 and 2009-2010. Making adult education and literacy funding an      option for consolidation could drastically reduce services ever further,      at a time when low-skilled adults need services the most.

Full Committee

(Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Find your elected official here: .)


John Kline (MN) (Chairman), Thomas E. Petri (WI), Buck McKeon (CA), Judy Biggert (IL), Todd Russell Platts (PA), Joe Wilson (SC), Virginia Foxx (NC), Bob Goodlatte (VA), Duncan Hunter (CA), David P. Roe (TN), Glenn Thompson (PA), Tim Walberg (MI), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Richard L. Hanna (NY), Todd Rokita (IN), Larry Bucshon (IN), Trey Gowdy (SC), Lou Barletta (PA), Kristi L. Noem (SD), Martha Roby (AL), Joseph J. Heck (NV), Dennis A. Ross (FL), Mike Kelly (PA)


George Miller (CA) (Senior Democratic Member), Dale E. Kildee (MI), Robert E. Andrews (NJ), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA), Lynn C. Woolsey (CA), Rubén Hinojosa (TX), Carolyn McCarthy (NY), John F. Tierney (MA), Dennis J. Kucinich (OH), Rush D. Holt (NJ), Susan A. Davis (CA), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ), Timothy H. Bishop (NY), David Loebsack (IA), Mazie K. Hirono (HI), Jason Altmire (PA), Marcia Fudge (OH)

Express your views on consolidation with your U.S. Representative’s office. Then see these Five Critical Issues With HR 4297: . Call your House Member’s education staffer to discuss any of them that also concern you or offer to email them the list of issues.

Contact me at if you have questions and let us know what the staffer says when you make your call.

Thank you for joining COABE, NCL, and its Member Organizations in this campaign and for all you do on behalf of adult education students.


Jackie Taylor

COABE President Elect2011-2013

Policy Chair

FYI Links:

Advocacy alerts and calls to action to keep funding in federal legislation. Awards, incentive grants, and scholarship opportunities. Mini grants to defray conference attendance and deep discounts are available on the COABE National conference in Norfolk, VA on April 10-13, 2012 ($75 off), discounts on the COABE Journal ($35 off), and leading publishers in ABE such as Pearson Longman, GED Academy, GED Testing Service, Steck Vaughn, Aztec Software, CTB McGraw Hill, Boston Reed, and Advanced Learning. RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY AT WWW.COABE.ORG

Jack Bailey

Program Director

SBCC Continuing Education
300 N. Turnpike
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
(805) 683-8230


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