Funding Available to Attend COABE Conference 2018


The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) recognizes the opportunities literacy and learning organizations provide and the challenges that are faced when working to make real and lasting change happen for students, families, and communities.

Our goal this year is to seek innovative ways to expand the National Literacy Directory‘s reach for students, practitioners, programs, and communities while continuing to celebrate and share the effective strategies being employed by Directory organizations.

We also know that in order to help families rise towards academic success and self-sufficiency, we must take time to refresh our minds, idea-share with our colleagues, and learn from the experts in our fields. That’s why the latest opportunity in the Directory’s Innovation Grant series will send a representative from two organizations to our affiliate partner Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE)’s annual conference at Sheraton Grand Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 25-28, 2018. This grant will include registration costs and a $1,000 travel stipend.

The deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at 11:59:59 PM EST. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

Click here for eligibility requirements and to apply.

Legislative Report: January Update

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There is still a great deal of uncertainty around funding issues for FY 2018.

First, as you may recall, the continuing resolution (CR) is in effect until January 19. It is virtually guaranteed that there will need to be at least one more CR. It takes the appropriations committees about a month to write a comprehensive bill, but they can't start until they know how much money will be at their disposal. Negotiations on raising the defense and non-defense spending caps are underway, but haven't been resolved. Again, with no agreement on the top line, the committees can't move ahead.

Further complicating the situation is Congress' need to complete work on the disaster relief supplemental appropriation (to cover hurricane damage in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico and forest fires and floods in California), resolve the DACA issue and border security, and reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The House will vote on a new CR next week.

There are rumors that the Republican majority may jettison the Congressional budget process in FY 2019. This will have little effect on funding for adult education because appropriators routinely ignore the recommendations included in budget resolutions. It would, however, mean that efforts to change entitlements would likely fail, because, without the authority of the budget resolution, changes would require 60 votes in the Senate.

In other news, the Administration has yet to announce another nominee for the position of Assistant Secretary of Education for OCTAE. The Administration withdrew the name of Michigan State Representative Tim Kelly after blog posts he wrote several years ago came to light.

Let's keep up our advocacy efforts to ensure funding for adult education.

COABE Announces New Operations Director: Michelle Chiles


The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is pleased to name Michelle Chiles as their new Operations Director. Michelle has served in a variety of positions since joining the organization just six years ago. Michelle's path has been marked by hard work and the desire to always represent COABE well. She started as temporary data entry help, moved to registration clerk, then coordinator, and most recently, office manager, a position she held for the last two years. She has always served with dedication and professionalism, often going the extra mile to ensure excellent service for COABE members and the board. She is known for her responsiveness and knowledge of the organization, as she is involved in many facets of the day-to-day operations of the organization. It is with pleasure, and with the approval of COABE President Kaye Sharbono, that COABE promotes Michelle to Operations Director!

COABE’s mission is to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive. The Coalition on Adult Basic Education exists to provide leadership, communication, professional development, and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners to advance quality services for all adult learners. COABE represents the field of 55,000 adult educators and provides a variety of services, including professional development through annual, state-of-the-art national conferences, more than 40 webinars annually, and a peer reviewed journal. COABE also recently launched an award winning national public awareness campaign and an advocacy campaign that has enabled more than 50,000 connections with legislators since April 2017. 

2018 COABE Workplace Winner Of The Year Featured In Washington Post


CICERO, N.Y., Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Dakota Provisions was recognized by the Coalition for Adult Basic Education (COABE) for workplace excellence as the 2018 Workplace Winner for its ongoing collaborative efforts with a local adult education provider to offer English-language instruction to its employees, helping them to integrate into the community and putting them on a path to economic mobility and professional advancement.

"We are pleased to see a leading partner in adult education and workforce development featured in a prominent, national publication," said COABE Executive Director Sharon Bonney. "Dakota Provisions is helping to build its local workforce by offering good-paying jobs to a population with great need right now, and we know the company's commitment does not end there."

The Washington Post feature chronicles the first days of a young woman from Puerto Rico who left her home state to pursue a job at the turkey processing facility, which employs 1,000 workers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The story provides insight into the company's efforts to find workers for hard-to-fill positions by recruiting from outside its backyard. 

Award Winning Educate & Elevate Public Awareness Campaign Reaches Business Leaders Through Partnership With the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation


In mid November 2017, COABE and NCSDAE leadership met with the Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Jason Tyskzko. As a result of that meeting, adult education is now being featured in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce electronic newsletter that goes out to all registered businesses. 

Adult Learner Initiative

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As we raise our voice on Capitol Hill on behalf of adult education, we are made increasingly aware of the need for our adult learners to join us in this effort. Their collective voices will amplify our voice with legislators, funders, and the business community. With this in mind, COABE has launched its newest initiative, Adult Learner's Membership option. This membership option is available on two levels, free (which includes some membership benefits) and $5 per year (which includes a variety of additional benefits).  

Additionally, for the first time ever, our national conference in Phoenix, Arizona, will include a strand for adult learners, as well as Ambassador Training, to equip teams to speak out on behalf of adult education.

RFP for Journal Editorial Services


The COABE Journal, formally known as The Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education is a scholarly refereed journal committed to advancing the understanding and practice of adult literacy, secondary, and basic education.
The Journal strives to be inclusive in scope, addressing topics and issues of significance to scholars and practitioners concerned with the diverse aspects of adult education. The Journal publishes research, employing a variety of methods and approaches including survey research, experimental designs, case studies, ethnographic observations and interviews, grounded theory, phenomenology, historical investigations, and narrative inquiry as well as articles that address theoretical and philosophical issues pertinent to adult literacy, secondary, and basic education.

Employers are Looking for Job Candidates in the Wrong Places


The employers who can’t seem to fill the United States’s roughly 6 million vacant jobs are at a loss for what to do. Qualified candidates are seemingly nowhere to be found. In Washington, D.C., for example, there aren’t enough workers who have the healthcare-management or sales skills to meet the demands of the hospitals and retail stores and banks desperate to hire, according to a report by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph Team. Philadelphia has so many job openings that can’t be filled because its residents lack skills in areas including politics and retail.

COABE 2018 National Award Winners


We're committed to honoring the best of the best in our field!  We are pleased to announce the winners of the COABE National Awards. Thank you to generous funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. e wish to thank our Awards, Incentive Grant, and Scholarship committee led by Danielle Miles (Chair), Martin Loa (Region 6 Representative) and Andy Tyskiewicz (Past President Emeritus).

Government Relations: Holiday Update

Government Relations: Holiday Update

Certainty is always desirable, but perhaps never more than during the holiday season. Unfortunately, at the moment, there is little in Washington that we can be sure of. Funding the government, in particular, remains in a state of flux.

Funding the Government

You may recall that Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government until December 8 and then another to fund it through December 22. Presumably, the idea was that Members of Congress would rush to complete work on funding so they could spend time with their families during the holidays. With one week to go before the current CR expires, it is obvious that there will need to be at least one more CR --   this one to fund the government through the first few weeks of January 2018.

How Investment in Technology Can Accelerate Collective Impact in Adult Learning

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Technology is now part of almost everyone’s daily life. Many of us live on our devices, rely on them for information, directions, banking, restaurant reservations, etc. When our mobile phone is more than five feet from us, some of us may even get anxious and start looking for where we left it. It is often the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we put down at night. Technology drives our work, our play, and our engagement with others. It is required to be a fully-participating member of the 21st century.

COABE Membership Insurance Program


More than half of all Americans* are uninsured or say they don’t have enough life insurance ... because they overestimate the cost, they think life insurance is hard to get, or they just haven't taken the time.

Are you one of them?

If the answer is yes, the solution to your "protection gap" may be the Group Term Life Insurance Plan sponsored by Coalition on Adult Basic Education. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Rates are competitive. For instance, a member in his or her mid-30s can add $100,000 of protection for less than $6 per month. Find out exactly how much you’ll pay using our rate calculator.
  • Once approved, your insurance will remain in-force, to age 80, as long as you pay your premiums when due. You never have to reapply to get the best rates, as with the many “level-term” insurance plans on the market.
  • For a limited time, we’re making it easy to apply by waiving the medical exam for members requesting up to $120,000 in coverage. Provide basic information online, then New York Life Insurance Company will call you at a convenient time to gather your health information by phone.

2018 COABE Conference Registration Now Open!

Collaborate with your colleagues from around the country in Phoenix, Arizona on March 25-28, 2018 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix.

Learn about new best practices and receive targeted training from national level speakers. Twelve strands-comprised of more than 350 breakout sessions-will be offered, providing valuable, state-of-the-art training that you will be able to bring back to your adult ed program! Join more than 2,000 conferees and enjoy numerous networking opportunities with your peers in adult education and around the country.

Register today to attend our national conference. To take advantage of our early bird rates, register by 02/14/18. Members save $75 on their registration. Add membership to your registration so you can get the discounted rate. For inquiries on your membership status contact  

Educate & Elevate Campaign Reaches New Heights: Awarded 6 Global Davey Awards


With nearly 4,000 global entries, the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) awarded the Educate & Elevate Campaign a total of six Davey's.

The Davey Awards are judged and overseen by the AIVA, a 700+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Current membership represents a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including Condé Nast, Disney, General Electric, Microsoft,, MTV, and Yahoo! to name a few

COABE Public Relations and Advocacy Work

From left to right: Pat Tyler, Executive Director for the National Council of the State Director of Adult Education; Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, Former Adult Student, Program Specialist for Adult Ed in Mississippi; Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Dr. Kim R. Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning; Kaye Sharbono, Board President, COABE;Sharon Bonney, Executive Director, COABE

From left to right: Pat Tyler, Executive Director for the National Council of the State Director of Adult Education; Dr. Rachel DeVaughan, Former Adult Student, Program Specialist for Adult Ed in Mississippi; Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education; Dr. Kim R. Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning; Kaye Sharbono, Board President, COABE;Sharon Bonney, Executive Director, COABE

As a part of our ongoing public relations and advocacy work, COABE leadership has been conducting a number of meetings recently, in Washington, DC. Our recent Capitol Hill Day included meetings with the Office of Management and Business, which capped our 4th successful day on the Hill--with state presidents, state directors, and students attending over 110 meetings with legislators. This brings the total number of face to face meetings with legislators to 310!  

Additionally, leaders also met with Dr. Michael Wooten, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education, along with Dr. Kim Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Planning. 

You can support advocacy and public relations efforts with 3 quick clicks! Please contact your legislators to ensure our voice is heard and our funding remains stable.