Funding Advocacy Update – Your Voices Are Needed Now!
 
Infrastructure – Clearing the Path for Reconciliation: Last week, the Senate passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, clearing the path for the Senate to pass its budget resolution. The infrastructure bill, among other things, creates the Digital Equity Capacity Grant program and the Digital Equity Competitive Grant program, which will increase states’ capacity for administering funds to programs addressing the digital divide and direct funds to programs that promote digital equity, respectively. In the Senate bill, adult education programs are eligible to administer or receive funds from these programs. While not direct funding for adult education, it could be an opportunity in your state in the future. The infrastructure bill has not passed the House and could change before becoming final law. We will keep you posted and provide more detail about the potential opportunities for adult education once the bill becomes law.
 
Reconciliation – Call for COVID-19 Relief Funding for Adult Ed: Last week, the Senate passed its budget resolution, which sets the deficit limits for the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for fiscal years 2022-2031 at $779,500,000,000 and $726,380,000,000, respectively. The budget resolution kicks off a “reconciliation” process that will likely fund important economic recovery investments such as free college and childcare. In addition, the reconciliation bill could fund our ask of relief ask for Adult Education of $1 billion (that is in addition to the regular annual appropriations)– if we make our voices heard in Congress!

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8/13 Update

Department of Education Update – Nomination of Amy Loyd

On August 10th, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Amy Loyd to serve as assistant secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the Department of Education (ED). Previously, Loyd worked as a vice president at Jobs for the Future, an organization that focuses on workforce development.

Funding Advocacy Update – Your Voices Are Needed Now!

Reconciliation – Call for COVID-19 Relief Funding for Adult Ed: On August 11th, the Senate passed its budget resolution, which sets the deficit limits for the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee for fiscal years 2022-2031 at $779,500,000,000 and $726,380,000,000, respectively. The budget resolution kicks off a “reconciliation” process that will likely fund important economic recovery investments such as free college and childcare. In addition, the reconciliation bill could fund our ask of relief for Adult Education of $1 billion (that is in addition to the regular annual appropriations)– if we make our voices heard in Congress!

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8/6 Update

Last week, COABE submitted a letter responding to the Department of Education’s (ED) request for comments regarding Secretary Cardona’s proposed priorities for use in discretionary grant programs. In the letter, which can be found here, COABE advocated for adult education programs, learners, and educators to be included in a number of the Secretary’s proposed priorities for discretionary grant programs. For more information on other policy work by COABE, look here.

Funding Advocacy Update – Your Voices Are Needed Now!

FY22 Appropriations – Annual Increase on the Line: On July 15th, the House Appropriations Committee marked-up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill. Adult Education State Grants saw an increase of $25 million, from $674.9 million to $700 million. Additionally, Adult Education National Leadership Activities saw an increase of $25 million, from $13.7 to $38.7 million. The Senate has not indicated when it plans to introduce its appropriations bill, but we need your help to ask the Senate to meet our ask level: an increase of$135 million for Adult Education State Grants.

Reconciliation – Call for COVID-19 Relief Funding for Adult Ed: In addition, the Senate Democrats hope to pass their infrastructure bill and budget resolution soon. The budget resolution is likely to kick off a “reconciliation” process that could allow one-time funding for Adult Education of $1 billion that is in addition to the regular appropriations process – if we make our voices heard about it!

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Take Action for Funding Increases

Why we need to act now:

The Senate hopes to pass its budget resolution soon. The funds in the budget resolution would help address COVID- and economic-related recovery. As you know, adult education programs have not received any COVID-19 Federal funding to this date. Once the budget resolution passes, Committees will be asked to provide recommendations on specific programs to be funded through reconciliation. They will not include funding for adult education if we don’t ask for it!

We need to ask Congress to prioritize adult education funding in their budget resolution and reconciliation process. Because the vehicles for this funding are beginning to move, now is the time to make your voices heard on this funding. We need to advocate for $1 billion for adult education programs in the budget resolution and subsequent reconciliation package.

Explanation of Budget Process:

In its annual budget resolution, Congress sets total spending, revenues, deficits and/or the debt limit. The budget may also include reconciliation instructions, which direct one or more committees to recommend changes to existing laws to accomplish the tax, spending or debt-limit-related goals determined in the budget resolution. Reconciliation bills can only affect mandatory spending. Committees draft recommendations for spending and submit them to the Budget Committee, which will then package the recommendations into a bill and move it to the House or Senate floor. In March of 2021, Congress used the reconciliation process to provide $1.9 trillion in COVID-relief funding aligned with the American Rescue Plan that included significant funding for early education, K-12 education and higher education. In that package, no funding was provided for adult education.

Congress is currently contemplating moving another reconciliation bill that would align with the American Jobs Plan. Currently, the Senate has not passed its budget resolution, however, we expect the Senate to pass it soon. Once the budget resolution has passed, we need to advocate for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee to include $1 billion for adult education programs. This process is quick, and lawmakers need to hear our asks before the Committees report their bills to the Budget Committee. Given the speed at which this process will move, we need you to contact your Senator and Representative to ask for $1 billion for adult education programs in the next reconciliation bill.

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