Thank you, governors, for your support of adult education!

Top Row (left to right): Governor Noem, SD; Governor Wolf, PA; Governor Whitmer, MI; Governor Baker, MA; Governor Reynolds, IA
Bottom Row (left to right): Governor Ivey (AL); Governor Beshear (KY); Governor Ducey, AZ; Governor Scott, VT

The list of governors from both sides of the aisle that are supporting adult education through funding and recognition continues to grow. COABE encourages you to reach out to your governor and Members of Congress to let them know that funding is needed to fight the impact of COVID-19 in your state.

We proudly recognize the governors who have allocated additional funding and publicity to offset the effect of the pandemic on adult education programs in their state. If your governor is not listed as a supporter of adult education, please click the button below to take action today!

Take Action

 


 

1/8 Update

COVID-19 Relief and FY2021 Appropriations
As we reported, late last month Congress passed a COVID-19 relief measure combined with the fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills all in one major package. We are excited to share that all your advocacy in this incredibly challenging year paid off!
 
Adult education state grants are funded at $675 million for FY2021, which is an increase of $18 million over FY2020! Adult education is again an eligible use of funds in the COVID-19 relief Education Stabilization Fund. Of the $81.9 billion fund, $22.7 billion will be provided to institutions of higher education (IHEs), $53.4 billion will be provided to state and local education agencies for K-12 related expenses, and $4.1 billion will be provided to governors for a range of education-related expenses. Adult education is explicitly mentioned as an eligible use of funds in the K-12 pot, and the governors pot is consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act language to include adult education. For the higher education pot, IHEs are permitted to fund student support services, which could include funding for services for adult education students. 
 
The K-12 pot of money went out to states earlier this week as a supplement (which means there was no new application process), and the governors pot of money is expected to go out this week.
 
With this great news, we know your hard work went a long way and your voices were heard. Thanks to your advocacy, we are starting 2021 with a strong footing. While we celebrate the FY2021 funding increase, we must remind you that there is more work to do.Outreach in the short-term to your governor and other state leaders to secure Education Stabilization Funding for adult education will be critical. Please see below for an action alert to do so, and feel free to tailor as you see fit.
 
And remember, your advocacy efforts work! Just recently, Connecticut adult education advocates engaged with state leaders to advocate for unspent CARES Act governor education funds to be allocated to adult education. Thanks to their efforts, almost $1.7 million dollars have been allocated for adult education programs in Connecticut’s 10 Opportunity Districts!
 
In the longer term, we have a new Congress and we will have a new administration at the end of the month. We will need to educate new Members of Congress and administration officials about the importance of supporting adult education. Our top priorities will be advocating for $1 billion for adult education to be included in any future COVID-19 relief package and advocating for increased funding for FY2022. In addition, we want to ensure adult education has a ‘seat at the table’ across all issues that affect adult learners, teachers, and administrators.

Take Action

 


 

12/25 Update

COVID-19 Relief and FY2021 Appropriations

As you may know, this week Congress passed COVID-19 relief measures and the fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations bills all in one major package. We are excited to report that all your advocacy in this incredibly challenging year paid off!
 
Adult Education state grants are funded at $675 million for FY2021, which is an increase of $18 million over FY2020! Additionally, Adult Education is again an eligible use of funds in the COVID-19 relief Education Stabilization Fund. Of the $81.9 billion fund, $22.7 billion will be provided to institutions of higher education (IHEs), $53.4 billion will be provided to state and local education agencies for K-12 related expenses, and $4.1 billion will be provided to governors for a range of education-related expenses. Adult Education is explicitly mentioned as an eligible use of funds in the K-12 pot, and the governors’ pot is consistent with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act language to include Adult Education. For the higher education pot, IHEs are permitted to fund student support services, which could include funding for services for Adult Education students. Outreach in the short-term to your governors and other state leaders to secure Education Stabilization Funding for adult education will be critical.
 
With this great news, we know your hard work went a long way and your voices were heard. Thanks to your advocacy, we will start 2021 with a strong footing. While we celebrate the FY2021 funding increase, we must remind you that there is more work to do.

In January, there will be a new Congress and a new presidential administration that we will want to educate about the importance of supporting Adult Education. We expect there will be early efforts to secure additional COVID-19 relief funding. Our top priority will be advocating for our $1 billion ask and making sure Adult Education has a ‘seat at the table’.

And, believe it or not, we are already looking ahead to FY2022. We want the FY2022 budget that President-elect Biden proposes to include the robust support that Adult Education needs. Stay tuned in early 2021 for more information and action alerts. Again, congratulations to all of you for your hard work this year!

 


 

12/18 Update

Presidential Transition and the 117th Congress
As President-elect Biden’s team continues official transition efforts, we are working with the transition team to advance policies that prioritize the needs of adult education. In fact, COABE CEO Sharon Bonney is invited to share our priorities directly with the transition team next week. This is just a first step in making sure that the incoming administration understands our priorities. Also, we are monitoring secretary appointments and other top executive level positions as this information becomes available.

On the Congressional side, as we have reported, a few races are still being finalized, though we do know that Democrats will retain their majority in the House. For the Senate, it remains unclear which party will control the upper chamber due to the two outstanding runoff races in Georgia. We expect that the Republicans will retain their majority in the Senate, as the Democrats would need to win both Senate races in Georgia obtain a majority, which is unlikely. We are working closely with our Congressional champions to map out an action plan for the 117th Congress that will benefit the adult education system. Once we get Congressional committee assignments, we can do more targeted outreach on our priorities.

COVID-19 Relief 
Congressional leadership and committee chairs are negotiating the next COVID-19 relief bill. There is broad agreement on a deal and many Members of Congress have emphasized their goal of providing more COVID-19 relief before the new year. At this point, it looks like a $900 billion package that could include $82 billion in education funding could pass in the lame duck. As with previous COVID-19 packages, adult education could be an allowable use of funds in the education funding pot. Congressional leaders hoped to pass a bill today, but that is increasingly unlikely. It is possible that a bill as described above could pass and be signed into law over the weekend or early next week. We will provide information on the final deal when its available. Keep in mind that regardless of lame duck action, we expect the Biden-Harris Administration to push for a large COVID-19 relief bill early on in their term. 

FY2021 Appropriations 
To avoid a government shutdown last week, Congress passed a one-week continuing resolution (CR) which expires today, December 18th, at midnight. Congressional appropriators have signaled that they reached a deal on all 12 appropriations bills, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) subcommittee, which funds adult education programs. We expect adult education funding to get a slight increase over last year.

At this point, Congressional leaders want to pass a COVID-19 package and the FY21 appropriations bills all in one comprehensive bill. Because COVID-19 negotiations are still ongoing, the appropriations process is being held up and Congress could miss the midnight deadline, causing a short government shutdown over the weekend. The hope is that a government shutdown will increase pressure on Members of Congress to pass the COVID-19 bill and FY21 appropriations quickly. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as the process moves forward.

 


 

12/11 Update
Presidential Transition and the 117th Congress

As you may know, the General Services Administration (GSA) triggered the formal administration transition process, enabling President-elect Biden’s team to begin official transition efforts. We are working with the transition team to advance policies that prioritize the needs of adult education.
 
President Trump has not conceded the election due to allegations of voter fraud and is suing in several states. We will continue to monitor how the President’s election-related lawsuits play out.
 
On the Congressional side, a few House and Senate races are still being finalized, though we do know that Democrats will retain their majority in the House. For the Senate, on the other hand, it remains unclear which party will control the upper chamber due to the two outstanding runoff races in Georgia. We anticipate that the Republicans will retain their majority in the Senate, as the Democrats would need to win both Senate races in Georgia to obtain a majority, which is unexpected.  
 
COVID-19 Relief

Earlier this week, a bipartisan, bicameral group of Members of Congress introduced a $908 billion COVID-19 relief proposal. The proposal allocates $82 billion for education issues overall, and $10 billion for broadband connectivity. While it remains unlikely this bill will be able to gain enough momentum to move forward in the current Congress, it signals that Members understand there is a need for a relief bill before the end of the year.

Senate Republicans released a more targeted relief proposal this week that calls for $105 billion for education. The proposal does not provide details on the education provisions. It is unclear if Members of Congress can come together to negotiate a proposal in earnest. We will keep you informed if momentum picks up, though at this point it looks unlikely. Regardless of lame-duck action, we expect the Biden-Harris Administration to push for a large COVID-19 relief bill early on in their term. We urge you to continue your advocacy for $1 billion in adult education funding to be included in the next COVID-19 relief package. 

FY2021 Appropriations

Senate and House appropriators have reached a deal on overall funding levels for each appropriations subcommittee, including the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) subcommittee which funds adult education programs. This is an essential step as appropriators work to agree upon specific programmatic level funding numbers. The overall funding levels are not yet publicly available.

As negotiations continue, we expect the adult education final funding level to get a slight increase over last year. Current government funding runs out on December 11th, so Congress will need to come to an agreement before that date to avoid a government shutdown. We largely expect Congress to be able to agree to another continuing resolution to keep the government funded at current levels (which would pass the FY2021 funding debate to the next Administration) or pass the outstanding appropriations bills by the December 11th date or close to it. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to reach out to your Members of Congress to advocate for adult education funding – both for FY2021 and COVID-19 relief. 

 

These Legislative Updates are brought to you in part by generous support provided by Aztec Software.