FY 2000 Budget Summary - February 1999

Section D - Vocational and Adult Education


(Including the School-to-Work Opportunities Act)

In response to rapid changes in the economy and society, 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, communications, and teamwork. The Department's School-to-Work Opportunities, Vocational Education, and Adult Education programs help Americans of all ages attain this needed combination of skills and abilities.

[Top] School-to-Work Opportunities

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $200.0 $125.0 $55.0

The Administration is requesting a total of $110 million—$55 million each for the Department of Education and the Department of Labor—to provide a final year of support for the development of State systems that connect what goes on in the classroom to future careers and real-work situations and that prepare secondary school students for a broad range of postsecondary education and advanced training opportunities. The School-to-Work Opportunities Act "sunsets" on October 1, 2001. After Federal support winds down, States will continue their school-to-work activities with funding from other Federal programs, such as Vocational Education and the Workforce Investment Act, and with State and local dollars.

By the end of fiscal year 1998, the two Departments had provided school-to-work implementation grants to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The program also supports separate grants to high-poverty urban and rural areas, and to Indian tribes and the Outlying Areas. Limited funds reserved at the national level support training, technical assistance, and evaluation activities.

The school-to-work concept is the product of a broad-based consensus among policy-makers, teachers, researchers, and others about the need to improve career planning and workforce preparation among youth and the kinds of learning experiences that schools need to provide. The national evaluation of the program found that school-to-work activities have become increasingly widespread in the States. By the fall of 1997, in the 34 States surveyed, 1,016 local school-to-work partnerships had been formed, involving more than 83 percent of those States? local educational agencies. The evaluation also found that employer involvement in school-to-work is widespread and expanding.

[Top] Vocational Education
(BA in millions)
  1998 1999 2000
State Grants $1,027.6 $1,030.7 $1,030.7
Tech-Prep Education 103.0 106.0 111.0
National Programs 13.5 13.5 17.5
Tribally Controlled Postsecondary
Vocational Institutions
Total 1,147.1 1,154.2 1,163.3

The Department?s Vocational Education programs develop the academic, vocational, and technical skills of students in high schools and community colleges. The newly reauthorized Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act will help 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 new Act also greatly increases accountability for results. State and local recipients will use program funds to track and measure the educational and workplace outcomes for participating students. States that exceed their performance goals will be eligible to receive "incentive awards" from the Federal Government.

[Top] The 2000 budget for Vocational Education is approximately $1.2 billion, a small increase over the 1999 level. The total includes level funding of about $1 billion for State Grants, which provide formula grants that States, local educational agencies, and postsecondary institutions use to improve vocational education programs and to ensure that individuals with special needs have full access to those programs. These funds will enable States to establish the new types of programs and services called for in the reauthorization and to implement the new accountability measures.

[Top] The budget includes a $5 million increase, to $111 million, for Tech-Prep Education, which supports State formula grants for programs that link secondary and postsecondary, and vocational and academic instruction to prepare individuals for high-tech careers. In many States Tech-Prep has laid the foundation for the introduction of school-to-work systems, and the additional funds will help States extend tech-prep programs to more schools and students.

[Top] The National Programs support applied research and development activities designed to improve and assess vocational education programs nationally. Funds support a National Center for Research in Vocational Education, data collections needed to fulfill the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act, 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. In addition, the Department is carrying out a new national assessment of vocational education programs. The $17.5 million requested for 2000 will permit an expansion of these activities.

[Top] Finally, the 2000 request includes $4.1 million for Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Vocational Institutions, a program of competitive grants to institutions that provide postsecondary vocational training to Native American students.

[Top] Adult Education
(BA in millions)

  1998 1999 2000
State Grants $345.3 $365.01 $468.0
National Leadership Activities 5.0 14.01 101.0
National Institute for Literacy 5.5 6.0 6.0
Literacy Programs for Prisoners 4.7
Total 360.6 385.0 575.0

1 Fiscal year 1999 amounts for State Grants and National Leadership Activities assume enactment of a technical amendment to correct an error in the 1999 appropriations act, in which Congress inadvertently included $8 for State Grants that was intended for National Leadership Activities.

2 An appropriation of $4.7 million for Literacy Programs for Prisoners was provided under State Grants for Incarcerated Youth Offenders.

Many Americans lack the basic literacy skills to succeed in the 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 programs in the States 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, including young adults who may have had limited education in either their native countries or the United States. One-third of recent immigrants do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and this population has significantly lower average income and a higher unemployment rate than native-born Americans.

The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998 put a priority on 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. The Adult Education budget request includes a $190 million or almost 50 percent increase to help make these improvements and to meet the increased national need for services, particularly among recent immigrants but also among other adults who need to strengthen their literacy skills or obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent.

[Top] The reauthorized Adult Education State Grants authority includes a strengthened emphasis on program accountability. States, in cooperation with the Department, will 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 will be eligible for performance bonuses. The 2000 budget includes $468 million for State Grants program, an increase of $103 million or 28 percent.

[Top] In addition, the Department is proposing several new initiatives under the reauthorized National Leadership Activities program, which supports research, demonstration, and evaluation. The $101 million request for National Leadership includes $70 million for "Common Ground Partnership" grants to States and localities significantly affected by immigration. These grants would support demonstration programs that provide immigrants and other participants with English literacy skills, knowledge about the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, and skills that are necessary for functioning effectively in daily life.

The Department also would award $23 million in discretionary grants to help States, working with private-sector partners, to incorporate technology into instruction. Finally, $2 million would be used for a "High Skills Communities Campaign" to help States and local communities promote lifelong learning and literacy and measure their progress in meeting their literacy/lifelong learning goals. Administration of these assessments will enable schools and employers to determine if individuals have the literacy skills needed for available jobs.

[Top] The $6 million National Institute for Literacy carries out 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 a national center and other activities that focus on education of adults with learning disabilities.

[Top] State Grants for Incarcerated Youth Offenders

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $12.0 $16.71 $12.0

1 Includes $4.7 million appropriated for Literacy Programs for Prisoners.

This program provides formula grants to State correctional agencies to assist and encourage incarcerated youths to acquire functional literacy, life, and job skills through postsecondary education, employment counseling, and related services.

The 1999 appropriation included phase-out funding for Literacy Programs for Prisoners, which was repealed by the Workforce Investment Act and would not be funded in 2000.

[Top] Community-Based Technology Centers
  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions ? $10.0 $65.0

This program makes grants to public housing facilities, community centers, libraries, and other community facilities to make educational technology available to residents of low-income urban and rural communities. The $55 million increase proposed for 2000 would support 300 new grants, up from 40 in 1999.

Research shows that lack of access by residents of such communities to computers and other information technology limits their ability to obtain job information, educational resources, and other benefits of the Internet-based "information superhighway." Grantees will establish community learning centers that provide area residents access to pre-school and family education programs, after-school activities, adult basic and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) instruction, and online job databases.

Direct any questions to Martha Jacobs, Budget Service

[Section C - Special Education and Rehabilitative Services] [Table of Contents] [Section E - Postsecondary Education]