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GAO Report: English Language Learning Needs Coordination
The General Accounting Office (GAO) last week released its new report English Language Learning: Diverse Federal and State Efforts to Support Adult English Language Learning Could Benefit from More Coordination. GAO is recommending that the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and other appropriate agencies develop coordinated approaches for sharing information on English language learning and cooperate in planning and conducting research. The agencies concurred with the recommendations and cited their intentions to work together toward their implementation. The report calls the Adult Education State Grant Program "the key federal program for adult English language instruction" with enrollment of about 1.1 million English language learners in 2007. GAO contacted state officials and local providers in 12 states for this report. Eight of the 12 state officials said that demand was increasing for English language classes.
LEAs, Partnerships Eligible for ARRA Technology Funds
The Department recently issued guidance governing competitive grants from the $650 million Enhancing Education Through Technology Program under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The Department awarded both these ARRA funds and the regular FY 2009 educational technology funds to states in July. States may use up to 5 percent of the funding for state-level educational technology activities and must distribute the rest to LEAs and local entities, including partnerships. The guidance requires states to award at least 50 percent of remaining funds competitively, and states may award up to half of the funds to eligible LEAs based on a formula. Competitive grants must go to "high-need" local education agencies (LEAs) or eligible local partnerships. Funds may be used, among other purposes, to make technology more accessible, expand technology literacy, and collect and analyze data to improve teaching and learning.
NIFL Launches New Web Site
The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) launched its new Web site in July, offering interactive resources for adult literacy practitioners, staff developers and policymakers. For example, visitors can browse the new professional development pages or take a one-hour online course on how to use scientific research when making decisions in education.
Rhode Island ARRA Funds Jobs at One-Stop Centers
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (DLT) will use ARRA funds to create 19 new positions in its netWORKri One-Stop Career Centers. The limited-period positions will help DLT provide a variety of workforce development services to Rhode Island job seekers and employers. Examples of new positions include employment and training interviewer and a business service specialist.
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