U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

FY 2003 Budget Summary - February 4, 2002


 
C. Vocational and Adult Education


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Overview

With the changing demands of today's economy, it is vitally important that every American, both youth and adult, be well prepared for a future of postsecondary education, employment, and continuous learning. Schools and colleges must adopt educational approaches that ensure that every student achieves rigorous academic knowledge, computer and other technical proficiency, and skills in problem-solving and communications. The Department's Vocational and Adult Education programs help Americans of all ages attain this needed combination of skills and abilities.



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Vocational Education
(BA in millions)

 200120022003
Request
State Grants$1,100.0$1,180.0$1,180.0
Tech-Prep Education State Grants106.0108.0108.0
Tech-Prep Demonstration5.05.0
National Programs17.512.012.0
Occupational and Employment Information9.09.5
Tribally Controlled Postsecondary
Vocational and Technical Institutions5.66.56.5
TOTAL1,243.11,321.01,306.5

Vocational Education programs develop the academic, vocational, and technical skills of students in high schools and community colleges. The 1998 Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act helps States achieve this goal by focusing on the integration of academic and vocational instruction; student attainment of challenging academic, vocational, and technical standards; and development of stronger linkages between education and employers. The Act also greatly increases accountability for results: State and local recipients use program funds to track and measure the educational and workplace outcomes for participating students, and States that exceed their performance goals may be eligible to receive "incentive awards" from the Federal Government.

The request for Vocational Education is $1.3 billion, including level funding for State Grants to support State, high school, and community college activities to improve the quality of vocational education and refine systems to track and report post-program education and employment outcomes for vocational students.

The budget also includes level funding for Tech-Prep Education State Grants, which provides State formula grants for programs that link secondary and postsecondary vocational and academic instruction to prepare individuals for high-tech careers. Tech-Prep programs emphasize the development of (and teacher training in) applied instructional methods for academic classes; more successful entry into postsecondary education; and an increased emphasis on academics, especially math, science, and technology.

Separate funding is not included for Tech-Prep Demonstration or for the Occupational and Employment Information activity. States may use Tech-Prep State grants to carry out demonstrations, and can obtain resources for occupational and employment information through other programs.

Under the request, $12 million for National Programs would continue high-priority research and development activities to assess and improve vocational education programs nationally. Funds support the National Centers for Research and Dissemination in Career and Technical Education and special initiatives in such areas as high school reform, educator professional development, and the development of high-tech "career clusters" that provide curriculum in a broad occupational area.

Finally, the 2003 request includes $6.5 million for Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational and Technical Institutions, the same as the previous year, to support competitive grants to institutions that provide postsecondary vocational and technical education to Native American students.



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Adult Education
(BA in millions)

 200120022003
Request
State Grants$540.0$575.0$575.0
National Institute for Literacy$6.56.66.6
National Leadership Activities14.09.59.5
TOTAL560.5591.1591.1

Many Americans lack the basic literacy skills needed to be successful citizens and workers in our increasingly technology-based economy. The 1994 National Adult Literacy Survey found that between 23 and 27 million adults performed at or below the fifth-grade level in reading and math. Adults who function at the lowest levels of literacy tend to live in poverty, drop out of school, and, if employed, have low-paying jobs. Poor literacy skills affect not only these adults, but their children as well; numerous studies have shown that the educational level of the parent, especially the mother, is the most influential factor in children's success in school.

The Department's Adult Education programs fund State and local activities that enable adults to become literate and complete high school, so that they can succeed as workers, parents, and citizens. Access to Adult Education programs is particularly important for recent immigrants and other limited English proficient adults who wish to learn English and further their education to obtain a GED, attend college, or improve their lifelong learning potential. One-third of recent immigrants do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and this population has a significantly lower average income and a higher unemployment rate than native-born Americans.

The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 gave priority to the delivery of adult education services that make effective use of technology, are of sufficient intensity to bring about substantial learning gains, have measurable goals for client outcomes, and are based on research. Also, the Adult Education State Grants authority now includes a strengthened emphasis on program accountability. States, in cooperation with the Department, are required to set annual performance goals in such areas as making improvements in participants' literacy skills, receipt of high school diplomas or equivalent credentials, and placement in and completion of postsecondary education and training programs. States that exceed their goals may be eligible to receive "incentive awards" from the Federal Government.

The request for the State Grants program provides level funding to continue State adult education activities and the set-aside of $70 million for English literacy and civics education grants, which help States meet the increased need for adult education services among recent immigrants. The $6.6 million request for the National Institute for Literacy supports communication, capacity-building, and policy analysis activities in support of the national goal that all Americans will be literate and able to compete in the workforce. Institute activities have included developing a Web-based literacy information and communication system, supporting the development of content standards for adult education programs, and funding activities that focus on education of adults with learning disabilities.

In addition, the budget request provides $9.5 million to continue high-priority research, demonstration, and evaluation initiatives funded under National Leadership Activities. In addition to evaluation activities, these funds support technical assistance to States on program accountability and effectiveness, and development and dissemination of staff development and training models to improve teaching.



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State Grants for Incarcerated Youth Offenders

 200120022003
Request
BA in millions$17.0$17.0

The request does not include separate funding for this program because the Adult Education State Grants program provides a set-aside of up to 8.25 percent for education of prisoners and other institutionalized individuals. Correctional education agencies may apply directly to their States for grants to meet the literacy needs of incarcerated individuals.



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Literacy Programs for Prisoners

 200120022003
Request
BA in millions$5.0$5.0

The request does not include separate funding for this program because the Adult Education State Grants program provides a set-aside of up to 8.25 percent for education of prisoners and other institutionalized individuals. Correctional education agencies may apply directly to their States for grants to meet the literacy needs of incarcerated individuals.

For further information contact the ED Budget Service


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This page was last updated 02/04/02 (smj)