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COABE Positions and Actions


COABE Positions and Action Requests


March 2016—Action Request

The Reed-Blumenthal letter (HERE) relates directly to an increase in adult education funding. There is a Blumenthal-Gillibrand letter circulating that relates to workforce development and education funding as well (HERE) which we have alerted our field to as many of our members are involved with aspects of workforce development as well. For details on that alert, click here.

Senators Reed-RI, Blumenthal-CT and Gillibrand-NY are sponsoring a Dear Colleague Letter requesting all members of the US Senate to ask Senators Blunt and Murray, the Chair and Ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, to fund Adult Education State Grants for FY17 at the level authorized in WIOA. That figure would be $635 million.
Last year a similar letter to Senators Blunt and Murray was instrumental in gaining an increase of $13 million for adult education state grants above the figure included in the President's budget proposal to Congress
Please have someone from your organization contact the staff person responsible for adult education  in each of your two Senator's offices in DC asking  if the Senator will support the Reed-Blumenthal-Gillibrand letter requesting additional funding for adult education. You should send along the letter (HERE) which makes the request to Senators Blunt and Murray and also contains the contact information for the staff person in Senator Reed's office who should be notified if the Senator is willing to support the request. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee generally do not sign these letters but it is important to make the contact with their offices so that they know this effort is going forward. 
In the past we have had mostly Democrats on these letters but the request should be made to all Senators of both parties. Given the upcoming election in November, we may the opportunity to enlist the support of some Republicans in this effort.  
The cutoff date for signatures on the letter is March 15, 2016.  

Past COABE Positions and Action Requests


November 2015—Action Request

Dear COABE Members,

As appropriators continue their work to finalize an omnibus appropriations bill, it is very important that we let appropriations committee members know that they should keep adult education and literacy as a funding priority.

Action Request: Ask the legislator to fund adult education and literacy programs at least at authorized levels. This would help to ensure that the 36 million Americans with low basic skills are able to strengthen their educational levels in order to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities, to be educational role models for their children, and to participate fully in civic life. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) authorizes funding for adult education and literacy programs for FY 2016 at $622,286,000.

September 2015—House and Senate Introduce Resolutions Recognizing AEFL Week
For the seventh consecutive year, the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) has asked Members of Congress to declare this week National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. Resolutions were introduced by Senator Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate on September 17th, and by Representative Jared Polis (D-CO) in the House of Representatives on September 22nd.

The Senate resolution was cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Gary Peters (D-MI).

The House resolution was cosponsored by Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rep. John Yarmuth (D- KY), and Rep. Raúl Grijalva, (D-AZ).

September 2015—Share Your Key to Success for National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week!

What is your key to success in adult education? Who has inspired you in your education journey? Is it your son or daughter? A parent? A teacher or mentor? Are you your own key to success? Post a picture or video of you with your “key to success” to COABE’s Facebook page now through September 26. Join us in celebrating your journey and those who encourage or inspire you along the way.

COABE will feature all submissions on the COABE website this fall, and at the 2016 COABE Conference in Dallas, Texas this spring. Anyone who has attended adult education classes or who works in the field of adult education can participate. One free COABE Conference Registration will be awarded via a random drawing of submissions. Twenty others will receive a free phone charger. Let’s celebrate those who inspire us and see how many “keys” we can find!

To participate:
1.    Visit the COABE Facebook page to submit your photo or video.
2.    Post your key to success and tell us why he or she inspires you in adult education.
3.    Like COABE’s Facebook page for AEFL Week updates. This also enables us to contact you if you win one of the prizes.


July 2014National Public Policy Activities

COABE's Public Policy Committee has been active on behalf of the field by engaging in the following activities: 

  • Feedback was submitted on behalf of COABE for the Secretary of Education's request for formal comments on proposed discretionary grant priorities. Read the letter here.
  • An Action Alert was sent to the Contact Network asking for program leaders and state organizations to thank the legislators who voted for WIOA.
  • Information about new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Vice President's Job-Driven Training Report along with links to stay informed including the Department of Labor's and Education's WIOA web and email resources was posted on the COABE website here.
  • Take advantage of the new WIOA legislation to educate your policymakers at the local, state and national level.