Friday, July 17, 2009

Contact Federal Legislators About Adult Education

While we are concerned about the state budget situation here in Pennsylvania, legislative life continues elsewhere in the country. At the federal level, Pennsylvania, along with many other states, has lost some money for adult education - $1.8 million in our case.

However, there is a chance to recover some of that funding. Joann Weinberger, the President/Executive Director of the Center for Literacy, has passed on this message that she sent to Senator Specter’s office. Please adapt the message to send to both Senators Specter and Casey to recover education funding today!

I am very concerned about the FY 10 Appropriations Bill which is scheduled for mark-up next week. Senator Specter has been extremely supportive of the need to make PA whole after the USDOE cut 10% of its adult literacy funds through its use of the American Community Survey census data. I am writing today to once again ask his support for adult literacy—both a hold harmless provision for states such as PA going forward into FY 10 as well as an increase in funding so that programs can serve the ever increasing number of adults who are knocking on their doors to increase their literacy skills so they can get a job or support their children’s education.

Pennsylvania lost $1.8 million in our adult education grant award from July, 08 to July 09 as a result of the US Department of Education change to using the American Community Survey census data. My request is for Senator Specter to support $17 million in the FY 10 appropriations bill specifically to make states like PA whole.

We know that the White House has proposed a $67 million hold harmless appropriation for FY10 that would deal with the issue of OVAE’s miscalculation from 2003-2007 for in-school youth in the funding formula. Cheryl Keenan has suggested that most, if not all, of that appropriation will go to the states that have received increases under the ACS change with very little going to those states that lost money in that action. So, we are asking for a second hold harmless which deals directly with the ACS change not the 2003-2007 miscalculations

We also want to go on record as supporting an increase to $750 million for FY10 for adult literacy and a continued appropriation of $66 million for Even Start.

Thank you for your consideration of these issues. If I can be of further assistance as you analyze issues related to adult and family literacy, please let me know.

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