State and Federal Legislators
United States of America

For many years Pennsylvania’s adult education programs have been vitally important in preparing thousands of incumbent and displaced workers to take part in Pennsylvania’s economy. These programs have improved the skills of adult students and helped them to climb career ladders that make them steadily more productive citizens.

However, reduced funding has greatly limited access to these education programs. In 2008-2009 adult basic and literacy education programs served over 52,000 students in Pennsylvania. In 2010-2011, cuts will mean reaching 40% fewer students—a huge loss of potential for Pennsylvania’s economy. We know that these programs are reaching only a fraction of those in need of services. Both out-of-work and incumbent workers call daily to say that they need to improve their skills, and, for many, all they get is a place on a waiting list.

These programs improve the economy of our region not only in the short term, but in the long term as well. Recently, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health found that “a mother's reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors, such as neighborhood and family income” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – NIH News; 10/25/2010).

We, the undersigned, call upon the Pennsylvania Legislature and the United States Congress to maintain current funding for Adult Education and Family Literacy line items in Department of Education budgets (referred to as “Adult Education State Grants” in federal budget and “Adult and Family Literacy” in state budget).

Adult Education works in Southwestern Pennsylvania and putting people to work in our region is not merely a matter of job creation. It is also about helping people gain the literacy skills needed to be successful in the workplace. It is vital to our state’s economy and our workforce.

Thank you.

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The Prevent Further Cuts to Adult Education and Family Literacy petition to State and Federal Legislators was written by Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council and is in the category Education at GoPetition.