Invest in Adult Education

Legislative Center

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Invest in Adult Education

Let our elected officials know that adult education is important. By sending an email, you can tell lawmakers why you think it’s important that adult education is funded. Please write today to share your story and let them know how their policy impacts you.

We need to make our collective voice heard before it’s too late. Just a few minutes out of your day can make all the difference if you call your representatives and share your opinion. It’s time to take action, and that starts with you. Make a call today.

Add your voice to raise cause of Adult Education by taking just a few minutes to sign our petition seeking recognition and increased funding. Small actions can result in big changes. Please add your name today to support our organization’s efforts to make a difference.

Take Action

Please let legislators know that the increased funding for Title II under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will greatly enhance our hard work in the field as we seek to educate and elevate adult education.

You can send an email below and/or make a phone call. It is critical that you act now. You are welcome to add impact data showcasing your work in the editable email below.

Take action today to let your legislators know that Adult Ed is important!

Friday, 1/17 Update

The fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations process will begin shortly and we look forward mobilizing as a coalition to advocate for increased adult education funding. The process kicks off with the President’s State of the Union, which is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4. The President is likely to mention the Administration’s key funding priorities in his speech – we will listen in for any mentions of adult education or related work.

The next step of the FY21 appropriations cycle is for the President to unveil his Budget Request, which is expected on Monday, February 10. Similar to his previous three Budget Requests, the President will likely call for widespread cuts in education funding. While Congress has rejected such proposals in year’s past, we must continue to make our concerns known to Members of Congress to ensure that Title II receives the level of funding it deserves. After the President’s Budget Request is released, we will provide an analysis and talking points to use in all your advocacy efforts. We look forward to seeing many of you in April when we will be able to make our case on the Hill.


Letter from Representative Tom Cole

Congressman Tom Cole, currently serving in the 116th Congress, on the Appropriations Committee and Rules Committee, wrote back to COABE member, Susan Bernard. Susan had written in to Congressman Cole utilizing our Educate and Elevate “3 click software” regarding the value of adult education and was delighted to receive a response back. You can review Congressman Cole’s response HERE and write your own legislator HERE.

Take Action

Together we represent the adult education system of nearly 55,000 leaders, administrators, and educators preparing adults to succeed in a global culture and economy.

Additional Legislative Updates

Friday, January 3

As you may recall, President Trump signed the final fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations deal into law on Friday, December 20, which included a $15 million increase for Adult Education programs. We thank you again for all of your efforts in securing this funding increase! To keep the momentum going, our work on FY2021 funding will begin quickly – so ensure that you and your team are ready for action.

Looking ahead, the State of the Union is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4. We will be listening for key themes related to adult education. Following the State of the Union, the President’s 2021 Budget Request is likely to be released sometime in February. We will analyze the President’s Budget Request and respond appropriately. After the release of the Budget Request, expect to begin our regular 2021 appropriations work with Congress.

Friday, December 20

On Monday, December 16 appropriators in Congress came to an agreement and released the funding levels for the spending bills that they have been negotiating. This is good news on two fronts – on the process side, this means that the appropriations process is moving forward and that there will not be another continuing resolution. The House passed the appropriations package on Tuesday by a 280-138 vote and the Senate passed it on Thursday by a 71 to 23 vote. We expect President Trump to sign the spending package into law today, before the current continuing resolution runs out.

The other good news is that Adult Education programs received a $15 million increase for fiscal year (FY) 2020 in the final appropriations deal! This increase puts the total funding for Adult Education programs at $670.6 million – a number that will allow us to serve more adults and continue to expand and grow our work. Thank YOU for all of your hard work advocating for this funding increase – we could not have achieved this success without your continuous outreach to your legislators.

Please reach out to your legislators to thank them for passing the LHHS spending bill with a $15 million increase for Adult Education programs. Feel free to tailor this letter by including relevant data and/or information on how your program is making an impact in your State.

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Friday, December 13

The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government is set to expire on December 20, 2019. As we have reported in previous weekly updates, appropriators have come to an agreement on the 302(b) appropriations allocations, which set the overall funding levels for each of the 12 appropriations bills, but these numbers have not yet been made public. We have also heard that appropriators have largely agreed on programmatic funding levels, which includes determining the funding amount for Adult Education programs. Appropriators are working hard to package different spending bills together, and they are trying to pass legislation as soon as possible. This process is very dynamic, so we are monitoring the situation closely and will keep you informed as we learn more.

Friday, December 6

As we have reported in previous weekly updates, the Federal government is currently operating under a continuing resolution, which is set to expire on December 20, 2019. There are reports that House and Senate appropriators have come to an agreement on the 302(b) appropriations allocations, which set the overall funding levels for each of the 12 appropriations bills, but these numbers have not yet been made public. Appropriators are now focusing their work on determining program-level funding numbers, including Adult Education programs. Broader issues such as funding for the border wall continue to stall negotiations, and we expect that appropriators will not be able to complete their work before the December 20th deadline. Congress will likely need to pass another continuing resolution to keep the government funded.