Adult Education National Campaign
Tell Your Story
Get Your Organization Recognized
Our Collective Campaign

Our 55,000+ adult education leaders stand united in a national campaign called Educate & Elevate to inform policy makers and our community about how we move learning opportunities forward for all Americans to achieve economic mobility. If we educate, then we elevate–our students, workers, businesses, and our economic growth.
As part of our campaign, we are asking that adult educators submit success stories, customer testimonials, and innovations that will proudly be displayed on our campaign website which is currently in development. We are looking for both student and employer successes to share.
There are three types of submissions. Click on the links below to complete a brief online form and instructions for submissions.

  • Success Story–a narrative that shares the challenge(s), solution(s), and outcome(s) of a student or employer.
  • Customer Testimonial–a first-person quote from a student about how adult education supported their goals and dreams and/or from an employer who had a great experience with an adult education organization and/or an adult learner.
  • Innovation–a narrative summary of an adult education program, project, or initiative that you believe has been innovative in helping students, employers, and/or your community.

The power of these collective stories across the nation will inspire and inform policy makers, business leaders, community leaders and many more!

We are requesting submissions for our initial launch by 5/30/17, and we will enter you into a drawing for a free ticket to attend COABE 2018 in Phoenix, AZ on March 25-28, 2018! Thank you for your participation! If you have questions, please contact us at

Education Budget

Click "Take Action" above, enter your contact information and click "SUBMIT" to preview the letter we will send on your behalf to Congress.

Click "Take Action" above, enter your contact information and click "SUBMIT" to preview the letter we will send on your behalf to Congress.

The Washington Post reports it has a copy of a "near-final" version of the President's request for the Department of Education (ED) budget for fiscal year 2018, with a total cut to education programs that basically matches what was in the President's "skinny budget" released in March (CEF's table shows the relatively few specified cuts and additions here).  The Post reports gross cuts of $10.6 billion for ED for next year, with a net cut of $9.2 billion below the 2017 level (note that CEF's table compared the 2018 request to the 2016 enacted level, showing a net cut of $9.3 billion). Read more >


Tom Sticht, International Consultant in Adult Education (Ret.)

There has been substantial advocacy by hundreds of organizations for implementing various pre-school programs for children from economically poorer homes across the U.S. for many years. This large scale advocacy has paid off with hundreds of billions of dollars being invested in pre-school programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and numerous others funded by both state and federal dollars.
In contrast, investments in adult basic education have been minimal, reflecting minimal advocacy primarily mounted by those most intimately involved in adult education, that is, adult program administrators, adult teachers, and their adult learners. Read full article >


Stay up to date with what is happening with COABE by reading the May issue of the COABE membership update. In this issue, you will learn what a success Capitol Hill Day was this year, find out more about the national advocacy campaign called Educate & Elevate, have the opportunity to give your feedback on the 2017 COABE Conference, download your FREE copy of the COABE Journal, read this month’s Government Relations Report, participate in upcoming professional development webinars, and much more!

Adult Learners Need Your Help!

President Trump's budget proposal calls for a: Decrease of 13.5 percent in funding for the Department of Education, likely to be spread through all programs, including adult education. Our message is: FUND ADULT EDUCATION AS CONGRESS INTENDED. Senators Reed and Blumenthal are leading an effort to increase funding for Adult Education by circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter.

What Can YOU Do? Please click here to make your voice heard. This will allow you to make a call or send an email directly to your legislator. Contact with any questions.  



WASHINGTON, D.C. ---  As part of a campaign to improve access to adult education and skills programs that dramatically increase job opportunities, leaders of two major adult education organizations met this week with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and more than 80 members of Congress and staff. Tens of millions of adults in America can't read or compute simple math. They are often unable to find work or qualify for job training programs.

According to officials from the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE), Secretary DeVos told the leaders she is committed to strengthening adult college and career readiness and is eager to find innovative and high-tech solutions to help. Read more >

Pictured from left to right Tom Nash, Kaye Sharbono, Sharon Bonney,  Secretary Betsy DeVos, Reecie Stagnolia, and Patricia Tyler.

Pictured from left to right Tom Nash, Kaye Sharbono, Sharon Bonney, 
Secretary Betsy DeVos, Reecie Stagnolia, and Patricia Tyler.

Capitol Hill Day was a Wonderful Success

Our Capitol Hill Day was a wonderful success with over 80 visits made to legislators and their staffers. Our joint public awareness campaign, Educate and Elevate was our mantra, and feedback from Capitol Hill Participants has been extremely positive. The last meeting of the day was with Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education. Leaders from COABE invited the state director's leadership to join them for this important meeting. The meeting lasted over an hour, during which time the Secretary expressed her commitment to adult education while COABE and state director leadership shared important points relative to quality, endurance, integrated education and more. To review the press release from this meeting, click here

Adult Education Advocacy:
Bringing the Practitioner Voice to Policy Conversations

By Amanda Bergson-Shilcock

Making sure that policy conversations are informed by the deep expertise of adult educators in the field is a core element of National Skills Coalition’s work. In addition to bringing practitioners into Washington for federal-level conversations, NSC staff also regularly travel around the country to connect with people who are engaging in advocacy in their local communities and states.

This spring, two NSC staff members joined adult educators at two major conferences to talk about emerging opportunities for policy advocacy, new research findings, and resources for practitioners to connect the dots between local programs and the broader adult education and skills policy conversation. Learn more >

Government Relations Report

Eight months into the fiscal year, Congress completed work on the omnibus bill FY 2017 Appropriations Act. The bill passed in the House on May 2 by a 309 to 118 vote and in the Senate on May 3 by a vote of 79 to 18. After writing that the country "needs a good 'shutdown' in September to fix [a] mess," the president signed the bill on May 4. The bill froze funding for adult education at the FY 2016 level. Other Titles of WIOA were basically frozen, as well. Read more >


We launched a national advocacy campaign called Educate & Elevate at our national conference in Orlando, FL earlier this month. The campaign is being conducted in partnership with the National Council of the State Directors of Adult Education to inform policy makers on the importance of investing in Adult Education. We need your help! Please click here to make your voice heard. Also, please take a short survey to help us better understand what you would need in our Campaign Toolkit to conduct advocacy effectively and to participate in the campaign.

VIP Vendor May 2017

Grass Roots Press has an international reputation for publishing high-quality resources for adult basic education and English as a Second Language communities.  Grass Roots Press carries over 500 books, DVDs, and software packages.  We publish assessment tools, workbooks, photostories, biographies, and literature -- publications that enhance adults' literacy skills. Learn more >

COABE Election Results

COABE would like to thank every candidate for running. We know that running takes time, effort, and commitment. We would like to congratulate and introduce your newly elected Board members and regional representatives. Election results >


Latest News

Stay informed on major issues facing the quality of services for adult basic education, literacy, and numeracy learners. 

Stay Connected

Stay connected with our mission to advance national and international adult education and literacy opportunities for all persons. Below is a link to our social media platforms to join and stay connected with us for exclusive opportunities for news, updates, and helpful information.