Election Results May Be Significant for Adult Literacy
Posted by Peter Waite on November 13, 2018 in categoryNewscategoryAdvocacy

The recent elections have once more ushered in some significant changes at the federal, state, and local levels. These changes may be significant for the adult literacy field and possible funding levels, as well as literacy program enhancements.

At the federal level, the major change is the switch from a Republican-controlled to a Democratic controlled House. The more direct impact for our field will be the new chair of the House Education and Workforce committee. This committee impacts relevant regulations and funding for WIOA and related programs. The committee also has oversight of a number of Department of Education activities and potential changes.  

The new chair of the committee is Robert “Bobby” Scott who has a long record of being supportive of issues related to education, although not yet directly focused on adult basic education. He comes from Newport News, VA, where there are several excellent and long-standing adult literacy programs. 

There will be other related changes in committee chairs, which may impact our field, and it will be important to ensure we have good relations with key committees as the funding season for FY20 begins in earnest after the first of the year.   

New legislation will likely be very limited given the potential for gridlock between the Senate and House. Some experts believe it could be a more challenging environment for any significant changes that would benefit nonprofits, although those with bipartisan support will likely fair better. 

At the state and local level, there are additional changes that, in general, may impact adult literacy support. A number of changes in leadership will make it important for local and state literacy efforts to establish new relationships. Given the broad bipartisan nature of our issue, we are hopeful these efforts will continue to result in increasing support for adult literacy.


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