Congress approved increases for adult education on December 13 in the FY 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations conference agreement. The legislation appropriates $628 million for adult basic literacy education state grants, matching the President's request for $74 million above FY 2009 levels. The adult education state grant appropriation increase of $46 million includes funding adjustments for states and outlying areas underpaid due to an earlier administrative error with the remainder of the increased funds to be allocated to boost the adult education allotments of all the states.
The conference agreement increases the English literacy and civics education set-aside within the appropriation for adult education state grants to $75 millionabout $7 million more than the FY 2009 level. Congress specified that these funds must help states or localities affected significantly by immigration to implement integrated English literacy, United States history, and civics education programs. The programs are to provide instruction designed to help English language learners achieve competence in English through contextualized instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic participation, and history and government. The instruction supported with these funds must help these learners acquire the skills and knowledge they need to become active and informed parents, workers, and community members. The conference agreement also funds Even Start at more than $66 million.
National activities received more than $11 million, an increase of about 41 percent over the previous year that was achieved by reallocating funds from NIFL to OVAE. Within the amount provided for the Department's Institute for Education Sciences' (IES) research, development, and dissemination, the conference agreement included $2,000,000 for a new research and development center for adult learning and literacy, as outlined in House Report 111-220.
The legislation appropriates funds for the Department of Labor's the Career Pathways Innovation Fund, created under section 171 of the Workforce Investment Act, at $125 million, matching FY 2009. These competitive grants will be available to community colleges and partnerships with local adult education providers to prepare workers for careers in high-demand and emerging industries. Congress directed that slightly more than half of the appropriation be dedicated to activities that prepare workers for careers in the health care sector.
Additional information is available from the Estimated Allocations Adjustment for FYs 2003–2008 Adult Education State Grant Awards (PDF, 983K).