Your Voice Made the Difference! New Level of Funding on the Horizon...

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Your emails and phone calls make a difference!

·    7,000+ grassroots connections this week

·    79 face to face meetings

COABE advocates descended on Capitol Hill for the sixth COABE led Capitol Hill Day and made 79 face to face visits with legislators and their staff! We brought 5 adult learners with us to share their remarkable stories, as well as all new state and national data sheets (click on your state to view your state's data). 

There was a lot of positive discussion with legislators, and we appreciated that so many of our members took action while we were on the Hill by making more than 7,000 legislative connections this week alone. We believe that together, we really are making a difference, and our voice is being heard in the halls of Congress! Please see the official legislative update from Capitol Hill Partners below. 

**** LEGISLATIVE UPDATE *****

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations held a six hour markup, approving its FY 20 Labor-HHS bill on a party line vote. 

The next step of the process will be consideration on the House floor next month. Appropriations insiders indicate to us that the Labor-HHS will be brought to the floor in tandem with the Defense Appropriations bill, which will help secure additional votes in support of the overall package, as the Defense bill is viewed as a “must pass” piece of legislation by both parties. 

We also expect the Senate to hold its markup of the Labor-HHS bill the first week of June, but with no timetable for floor consideration. 

As you know, the FY 20 House Labor-HHS Committee has included a $23 million increase to provide the “authorized” funding total for Adult Education of $678 million ($665 million for Adult State grants and $13.7 million for National Leadership Activities) plus an additional $7 million. The total for adult education is $685,000,000 in the House. The breakdown is below. 

Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Grants

The Committee recommends $678,000,000 for Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Grants, which is $30,045,000 more than the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $192,151,000 above the fiscal year 2020 budget request. State formula-grants, authorized under the AEFLA, support programs to enable all adults to acquire basic literacy skills, to enable those who so desire to complete secondary education, and to make available to adults the means to become more employable, productive, and responsible citizens. 

Adult Education National Leadership Activities

The Committee recommends $13,712,000 for National Leadership Activities, which is the same as the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $60,000,000 below the fiscal year 2020 budget request. This program supports applied research, development, dissemination, evaluation, and program improvement efforts to strengthen the quality of adult education services. The Committee recommendation does not include language or funding, as requested in the budget request, to support a new pre-apprenticeship grants initiative. It is unclear whether these programs would articulate to registered apprenticeship programs or another untested, low-quality apprenticeship model. 

It should also be noted that after last week’s House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee markup of its FY 20 funding bill, Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) still had $103 million available for allocation out of her Subcommittee’s $188 billion in total funding. 

As a result, she offered an amendment to Wednesday's full Appropriations Committee markup of the Labor-HHS bill allotting the remaining $103 million across a number of priority programs. We are pleased to report after consulting with the Committee that Adult Education State Grants then received an additional $7 million of this funding! This $7 million is in addition to the $665 million DeLauro had previously provided for Adult Education State Grants and $13 million for National Leadership Activities, resulting in $678 million, the “authorized” funding level for Adult Education for the first time. The total for Adult Education has now reached $685 million in the House. A vote on the House floor on the entire Labor-HHS bill is expected next month. 

This was an extraordinary statement by Chairwoman DeLauro of her support for Adult Education. She could have chosen any of the five hundred programs in the bill to disburse this funding and she chose Adult Education as one of just fourteen programs to receive additional funds. 

The state and national information provided by COABE and NASDAE highlighting the tremendous number of adults eligible for Adult Education services in comparison with our limited ability to provide them due to a lack of funding was a critical difference maker, allowing us to describe with precision the need for increased funding. 

While this is only the first step of the funding process, with the Senate appropriations process still to come - we encourage your members to send a thank you note to Chairwoman DeLauro for her tremendous support for Adult Education.