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OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Current Section

Reauthorization of Adult Education and Family Literacy Act

Introduction | Policy Information | Congressional Activity | Questions and Comments| Outreach Activities

Introduction

The United States Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize and improve the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998. This web page provides up to date information on the progress of reauthorization and the key policy issues being considered.


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Policy Information

The President's Fiscal Year 2006 budget request for Department of Education programs was released on February 7, 2005.

Adult Basic and Literacy Education Act

In 2003, the Department of Education released the President's blueprint for the reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, outlining key changes that must be made in the law to give more adults the opportunity to improve their skills through high quality, research based programs. Too many adults in the United States do not have the reading, mathematical, or English language skills they need to be self-sufficient, to participate actively in their children's education, or to master the challenges of the global information economy that characterize our Nation's present and future.

Adults who invest their time in learning deserve consistent, rigorous academic content and effective instruction. Developed through broad consultation with the field, the proposed Adult Basic and Literacy Education Act will improve educational opportunities for adults by creating accountability for results; funding what works; expanding learning options and choices; and reducing bureaucracy and increasing flexibility. Through the adult education program's participation in the One Stop Career Center system, participants also will have enhanced access to a wide array of employment-related programs and services.

The Adult Basic and Literacy Education Act: Summary of Major Provisions [downloadable files] MS WORD (3.9MB)

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Congressional Activity

109TH CONGRESS (2005-2006)

Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 27
"The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 27, the Job Training Improvement Act of 2005. The legislation would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), promote economic development, and better equip workers for success in the 21st century economy."
View the Statement of Administration Policy from the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget regarding H.R. 27.

Job Training Improvement Act (H.R. 27)

On January 4, 2005, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), the chair of the House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), the chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced legislation to strengthen and improve America's job training system and to help states and communities ensure workers get the training they need to find good jobs. H.R. 27 passed out of The Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness on February 9th and subsequently out of the Committee on Education and the Workforce on February 17th. On March 2, 2005, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 27 to reauthorize and improve the Adult Education and Family Literacy system. The legislation is similar to the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act that was passed by the House in 2003. Read a summary of the Job Training Improvement Act. See H.R. 27.

Lifetime of Education Opportunities Act of 2005 (S. 9)
On January 24, 2005, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, introduced legislation to improve and strengthen federal education and training programs. Chapter 2 of the Lifetime of Education Opportunities Act (S. 9) includes provisions that reauthorize and improve the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. S. 9 passed the Senate HELP Committee on May 18, 2005. The legislation has not been scheduled for floor action in the Senate.

108th CONGRESS (2003-2004)

Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act (H.R. 1261)
On May 8, 2003, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1261, the Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act. The legislation, authored by Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) and supported by President George W. Bush, would have given governors and local communities new tools to use federal Workforce Investment Act resources to meet the needs of Americans seeking jobs and job training. Read more.

Statement of Administration Policy on H.R. 1261
"The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 1261, the 'Workforce Reinvestment and Adult Education Act of 2003', with the inclusion of the manager's amendment. This legislation would promote economic development and better equip businesses and workers for success in the 21st century economy." View the Statement of Administration Policy from the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget regarding H.R. 1261.

Testimony on Reauthorization of Adult Education and Literacy programs:
On March 4, 2003, Assistant Secretary Carol D'Amico testified before the House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, regarding the Administration's recommendations for the reauthorization of Adult Education and Literacy Programs. Read the Assistant Secretary's testimony in [downloadable files]MS WORD (51K)

Workforce Investment Act Amendments of 2003 (S. 1627)
On September 17, 2003, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced S. 1627, the Workforce Investment Act Amendments of 2003. The legislation includes provisions that reauthorize the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. On November 14, 2003, the Senate incorporated S. 1627 in H.R. 1261 and passed H.R. 1261 in lieu of S. 1627. See H.R. 1261 as it was amended and passed by the Senate.

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Questions and Comments

The Assistant Secretary wants to hear from you on issues related to the reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998. Please email us your comments.

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Outreach Activities

Public Forum:
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education's first public forum was held on January 16, 2002, at the U. S. Department of Education Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Public Meetings:
These meetings are designed to reach a wide range of constituents to gather their comments on a specific set of questions related to the reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. The first public meetings were held on June 3 and 4, 2002, at the Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and The Regional Collaboration Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The second were held in Nashua, New Hampshire, October 15, 2002, and in Santa Clarita, California, on October 25, 2002. They were advertised through the Federal Register. The purpose was to provide an opportunity for interested parties to present their comments on the present legislation and to give their suggestions for the new legislation. Persons who were unable to attend the meetings were encouraged to submit comments in writing to the Assistant Secretary.

Note:
A comprehensive notice of the meetings was published September 24, 2002 in the Federal Register, Notice of public meetings and request for comment on the reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.

Outreach Sessions:
In addition to the public meetings, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) staff conducted small, informal listening sessions as part of site visits as well as regional and national meetings to hear from a wide range of educators, students, parents, business people and community representatives regarding career and technical education, high schools, community colleges and adult education. In some cases these informal sessions were hosted by other organizations, and consequently, were not open to the public.


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Last Modified: 10/16/2007