(This post has been updated. See below.)
This week NCL sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to approve an omnibus appropriations bill before the end of the calendar year, rather than passing a continuing resolution based on FY 2014 levels that inadequately supports adult education (along with many other important programs). In addition, the letter calls for an increase in funding for Adult Education to at least the $609 million level proposed in the Labor-HHS-Education bill released by Representative Rosa DeLauro in September; urges restoration of the “ability-to-benefit” provision under the Pell grant program; and endorses a call by the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce to provide at least $250 million in WIOA implementation funding.
You can help! Contact your members of Congress urging them to enact an omnibus appropriations bill, with an increase in adult education funding, as soon as possible.
We are pleased to report some success in terms our advocacy efforts above. Congress did, thankfully, pass an omnibus appropriations bill before the end of year for the entire government—with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, which was funded under a short-term continuing resolution due to Republican protests over President Obama’s executive order on immigration.
In addition, the legislation (dubbed the “Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015) included a $5 million increase for adult basic education state grants—short of what we had advocated, but a welcome increase nonetheless.
The legislation also included a partial reinstatement of Pell Grant and federal student aid eligibility for “ability-to-benefit” students—another of our requests. The reinstatement of Pell Grant eligibility for ability-to-benefit is limited to qualified students enrolled in career pathway programs.