Update: WIOA Reauthorization in the House

Update: WIOA Reauthorization in the House

The House Education and Labor Committee will mark up the WIOA reauthorization bill on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 10:15 AM eastern time.

  • Watch the markup session at this link
  • Download and read the text of the draft legislation (H.R. 7309, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2022) at this link

The committee has also issued a draft section-by-section summary of the legislation. Here are items of note in the summary.

Section 101 (pages 1-2) lists changes to definitions.

  • Section 101 changes “basic skills deficient” to “has foundational skill needs.” NCL has advocated for this change for several years.
  • Section 101 does *not* include definitions for “concurrent enrollment” and “digital literacy skills,” two other changes for which NCL has advocated. In particular, NCL has suggested the need for a statement that the term “digital literacy skills” has the meaning given to it in Section 202 of the Museum and Library Services Act, to ensure coherence across related legislation.

Sections 301 and following (pages 9-10) pertain to the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA).

  • Section 303, Definitions, adds “digital literacy activities” and “digital skills” to the definitions for “adult education and literacy activities” and “family literacy activities,” and provides important amendments to the definitions for “integrated education and training” and IELCE. In particular, the IELCE definition is clarified to include a broader list of the types of activities that characterize the daily lives of adults. NCL has been advocating these changes for over two years.
  • Section 304 provides the draft authorization levels. The level for 2023 is $785 million, $46 million more than the President’s 2023 budget request ($739 million) and $81 million more than the enacted amount for 2022 ($704 million). The authorized amounts go up year by year, reaching $1 billion in 2028. Note that this is the authorization, not the appropriation, and that the amounts are subject to change during the markup process. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging to see that the committee has heard what NCL and many of its member organizations have been saying about the need for increased funding.
  • Section 305 institutes a demonstration program for development of new performance measures “that better capture the efficacy of adult education and literacy programs, compared to the existing performance measures required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.” This provision also reflects the extensive advocacy work that NCL and its member organizations have been doing for quite some time.

Thank you to all who have worked so hard and so continuously to advocate for changes that will make federal law more responsive to the realities of the adult education field. The bill will undoubtedly change somewhat during markup, but know that your voices have been heard.

And remember: adult education transforms lives.

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