[Federal Register: February 17, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 31)]
[Page 7983-7985]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 7983]]


Part V

Department of Education


Adult Education and Family Literacy Act; Workforce Investment Act of 
1998; Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Educational Act of 1998; 
Notices of Request for Public Comment

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Adult Education and Family Literacy Act; Workforce Investment Act 
of 1998

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of request for public comment.


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education invites written comments and 
recommendations regarding the implementation of titles I, II, and V of 
the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (Pub. L. 105-220, enacted 
August 7, 1998), as they pertain to the Adult Education and Family 
Literacy Act.

DATES: Comments received on or before April 5, 1999, will be considered 
in the development of guidance and any regulations that may be 
necessary, as well as the overall implementation strategy.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Patricia W. McNeil, 
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department 
of Education, Room 4090, Mary E. Switzer Building, 400 Maryland Avenue, 
SW., Washington, DC 20202-2645. Comments may be submitted 
electronically to dael@inet.ed.gov. You must include the term ``FR 
Notice'' in the subject line of your electronic message. The receipt of 
comments transmitted electronically will be acknowledged. Commenters 
wishing acknowledgment of the receipt of comments transmitted by mail 
must submit them by certified mail, return receipt requested.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carroll Towey, (202) 205-9791. 
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 
between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday. 
Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternate 
format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the contact person listed in the preceding paragraph.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Signed into law on August 7, 1998, the WIA 
reforms Federal employment, adult education, and vocational 
rehabilitation programs to promote creation of an integrated system of 
workforce investment activities for adults and youth.

Adult Education and Family Literacy Act

    Adult education is an important part of this new workforce 
investment system. Title II of WIA, the Adult Education and Family 
Literacy Act (AEFLA), restructures and improves programs previously 
authorized by the Adult Education Act. To give States greater 
flexibility in administering the program, the several prescriptive 
administrative requirements and restrictions on the use of funds are 
eliminated. For example, the Adult Education Act, as amended prohibited 
States from expending more than 20 percent of the State allocation for 
high school equivalency programs, the new law eliminates this 
    AEFLA focuses on strengthening program quality by requiring States 
to give priority in awarding funds to local programs that are based on 
a solid foundation of research, address the diverse needs of adult 
learners, and utilize other effective practices and strategies. Factors 
the State must consider in awarding funds include whether the program 
provides learning in real life contexts, employs advances in 
technology, and is staffed by well-trained instructors, counselors, and 
    To promote continuous program improvement and to ensure optimal 
return on the Federal investment, AEFLA also establishes a State 
performance accountability system. Under this system, the Secretary and 
each State must reach agreement on annual levels of performance for a 
number of ``core indicators'' specified in the law:
    * Demonstrated improvements in literacy skill levels in 
reading, writing, and speaking the English language, numeracy, problem 
solving, English language acquisition, and other literacy skills.
    * Placement in, retention in, or completion of postsecondary 
education, training, unsubsidized employment or career advancement.
    * Receipt of a secondary school diploma or its recognized 
    States also use these ``core indicators'' to evaluate the 
performance of local grantees.

Title I of WIA

    Title I of WIA authorizes employment training and other workforce 
investment activities that are administered at the State and local 
levels by workforce investment boards. These services must be provided 
through a one-stop delivery system that is established by each local 
board. The one-stop system also provides a means of accessing education 
and employment-related services available under eleven other Federal 
programs, including adult education and literacy programs funded by 
AEFLA. Entities that carry out programs authorized by AEFLA will 
participate in one-stop systems through memoranda of understanding 
negotiated with local workforce investment boards. The services 
provided under AEFLA through the one-stop systems must be consistent 
with AEFLA requirements.

Title V of WIA

    Title V of WIA authorizes States to submit a single ``unified'' 
plan for two or more of fifteen Federal education and workforce 
investment programs. These programs include AEFLA, workforce investment 
activities authorized under title I of the WIA, postsecondary 
vocational education programs authorized under the Carl D. Perkins 
Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-332), 
(Perkins III), and, with the prior approval of the State legislature, 
secondary vocational education programs authorized under Perkins III 
the portion of the unified plan that covers each activity or program 
must meet all of the plan or application requirements specified in the 
original authorizing statute for that particular activity or program. 
Title V also authorizes the award of incentive grants to States that 
exceed agreed-upon performance levels for title I of WIA, AEFLA, and 
Perkins III.
    Copies of the WIA are available on the website of the Office of 
Vocational and Adult Education at http://www.ed.gov/offices/OVAE/
AdultEd/InfoBoard/legis.html. The text of the Conference Report on H.R. 
1385 (the WIA) can also be found in the Congressional Record, July 29, 
1998, pp. H6604-H6694.

Issues for Public Comment

    The Secretary invites written comments and recommendations from 
interested members of the public regarding the implementation of AEFLA 
and the provisions of titles I and V of WIA that relate to AEFLA.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in receiving comments and 
recommendations concerning the following topics:
    1. How best to implement the performance accountability system 
described in section 212, including--
    (A) Definitions for the core indicators of performance; and
    (B) The establishment, revision, and reporting of eligible agency 
adjusted levels of performance for Fiscal Year 1999 and subsequent 
fiscal years.
    2. The award of incentive grants to States that exceed the State 
adjusted levels of performance for title I workforce investment 
activities, AEFLA, and Perkins III (section 503 of WIA).

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    3. Procedures for the development and submission of State unified 
plans (section 501 of WIA).
    4. The participation of entities receiving assistance under AEFLA 
in the planning, governance, operation, and funding of the one-stop 
delivery system described in title I of WIA.
    Comments and recommendations are also welcome on other issues and 
concerns that should be addressed or clarified through guidance or 
    Under its Principles for Regulating, the Department of Education 
will regulate only when it improves the quality and equality of 
services to its customers--learners of all ages. The Department will 
regulate only when absolutely necessary, and then in the most flexible, 
most equitable, and least burdensome way possible. The Department will 
regulate if a demonstrated problem exists and cannot be resolved 
without regulation or if necessary to provide legally binding 
interpretation to resolve an ambiguity. The Department will not 
regulate if entities or situations to be regulated are so diverse that 
a uniform approach does more harm than good.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


To use the pdf, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at the previous sites. If you have 
questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing Office 
toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone also may view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G-Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.
    Additionally, in the future, this document, as well as other 
documents concerning the implementation of AEFLA will be available on 
the World Wide Web at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/offices/

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    Dated: February 11, 1999.
Richard W. Riley,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 99-3877 Filed 2-16-99; 8:45 am]