Tell Members of Congress to Preserve Funding that Supports Adult Literacy
As expected, the Senate defeated the House of Representative's FY11 spending bill, H.R. 1, by a vote of 46-54. A Senate alternative also failed 42-58. As a result, the House and Senate have gone back to work to negotiate a final FY11 budget. House members are continuing to press for as many of the budget cuts they proposed in H.R. 1 as possible in the final bill, including several that have an impact on adult education programs. The House has proposed:
- Elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the programs it funds—including AmeriCorps and VISTA. This drastic act will remove national service participants from community and faith-based organizations, including many adult literacy programs.
- Elimination of the Even Start family literacy program.
- Cuts to the Community Development Fund by $2.95 billion from almost $4 billion. The vast majority of these funds go to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program was reduced by $305 million from $700 million. Many adult literacy organizations receive funding through one or both of these programs.
- Elimination of funding for the Office of Citizenship. Many adult literacy organizations have received funding through this office to provide expanded citizenship instructional services and naturalization application services.
Earlier this month, Congress passed a two-week extension of the short-term continuing resolution (CR) that is currently keeping the government running. This CR eliminated Even Start funding. Nonetheless, it's important to contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to support all of the programs that are important to you, including Even Start, in future budget proposals.
A letter is on ProLiteracy's website for your use, or feel free to write your own. In addition, if your Senators and Representative voted against the cuts in H.R. 1, be sure to write them again to thank them. And be sure to update Jeff Carter, director of policy and government affairs, at (202) 577-3638, on any response you receive.