June 30, 1992 to July 1, 1995
Adult Education Act, P.L. 100-297 as Amended by the
National Literacy Act, P.L. 102-73

Submitted by:

California Department of Education
Specialized Programs Branch
Youth, Adult and Alternative Educational Services Division


Chapter 8

This chapter describes how local educational agencies and other public and private agencies, or consortia of agencies, including for-profit organizations, may apply for Local Assistance Grants program under Section 321 of the Adult Education Act.

This chapter describes the process for applying for federal Adult Education Act funds under Section 321. The chapter consists of six sections:

  1. Eligible Recipients
  2. Notice of Availability
  3. Application Process
  4. Review Process
  5. Criteria for Evaluating Applications
  6. Distribution of Funds
These sections will outline how Section 321 funds will be distributed to local agencies.

Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients for a local assistance grant, subgrant or contract include the following:

  1. A local educational agency;
  2. Community-based organizations;
  3. Correctional educational agencies;
  4. Public or private non-profit agencies;
  5. Postsecondary educational institutions; and
  6. Agencies that have the ability to provide literacy services to adults and families. [Section 322(a)(1)]

Whenever appropriations under this program exceed the amount available in Fiscal Year 1992, the California Department of Education (CDE) will give preference to those local applicants who have demonstrated or can demonstrate a capability to recruit and serve educationally disadvantaged adults.

In the case of a recipient consortium, the LEA or public or private nonprofit agency, organization or institution shall enter into a contract with the for-profit entity. In such cases, the funds will be awarded directly to the LEA or public or private nonprofit entity that applies on behalf of the consortium.

Notice of Availability

The Adult Education Unit will send an application packet containing information on eligibility requirements, required steps to complete a successful [Public Law 100-297, Section 321] application, and information on the Watts Outreach Recruitment and Retention program to local educational agencies and other known eligible recipients. This packet will allow them to submit an application to apply for supplemental adult basic education funds from [P.L. 100-297] for Fiscal Year 1992. In addition, the Adult Education Unit will announce the availability of funds in the California State Contracts Register and on CONNECT, the electronic communication system provided by the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN).

Application Process

The CDE will review all applications for funding eligibility using a uniform process that will be described in the application packet.

Applications for funds under Section 321 of the Act must be submitted by June 19, 1992, and by May of each year thereafter.

The application will be submitted and approved for a three-year period from July 1, 1992 through June 30, 1995. Approval of the fiscal portion is only for a one-year period and is renewable annually for each year through Fiscal Year 1995. Such approval will be based upon submission of the annual continuation requests as described in the guidelines.

Decisions regarding the approval or denial of applications, including the annual renewal of the fiscal portion, will be made by July 1 of each year of the four-year plan, beginning July 1, 1992. Approval of applications for funding during the first year of this plan are contingent upon federal approval of this State application.

The review procedures are presented in the next section.

Review of Applications

The Adult Education Unit shall review applications by using the approval criteria found in the application. Also, certain funding conditions must be met by the applicant if the purposes of the Act are to be served. Applications are not competitive and will be approved so long as the applicant (1) agrees to the federally mandated assurances that will accompany the application and which appear in Chapter 2 of this document; and (2) meets the requirements of the California Department of Education, which will also accompany the application. Many of these State requirements appear in Chapter 6 of this document under the section "Local Assistance Grants." They are summarized below, along with other criteria for evaluating applications.

Criteria for Evaluating Applications

Applications that meet the following criteria will be approved for funding:

  1. The grants will supplement a basic skills and English as a Second Language program already provided by the applicant agency for a period of at least one year.

  2. Funds cannot be allocated to general secondary school programs leading to a high school diploma or programs designed around General Educational Development (GED) certification. However, we will fund the instructors regardless of where students are taking the classes, when it can be demonstrated that those students have skills below the eighth grade level, or as long as these students are functioning below a CASAS 230 score.

  3. The applicant will provide both a State-prescribed pre-test and a post-test of reading or life skills achievement to a representative sample of adult basic education (ABE) and English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) students. The size of the sample and procedures for collecting data will be specified by CDE. The applicant will report to the Adult Education Unit pre- and post-test scores of students in the sample. Since the process of obtaining high quality data is an incremental one that takes into account logistical constraints and the motivation of students and teachers alike, the applicant will agree to follow State guidelines that may be revised from year to year with respect to accountability and data collection procedures.

  4. The applicant will describe the projected goals of the program with respect to participant recruitment, retention, and educational achievement and how the applicant will measure and report progress in meeting its goals. [Section 322(a)(4)]

  5. The application shall list current programs, activities, and services that receive assistance from federal, State, and local sources in the area proposed to be served by the applicant.

  6. The applicant shall describe cooperative arrangements, including arrangements with business and industry and volunteer literacy organizations that have been made to deliver services to adults.

  7. The applicant shall describe how the applicant's proposed program provides guidance and supportive services while not duplicating programs, services or activities made available to adults under other federal, State and local programs.

  8. The applicant shall describe its past effectiveness in providing services, especially with respect to recruitment and retention of educationally disadvantaged adults and the learning gains demonstrated by such adults. [Section 322(a)(1)(A-C)]

  9. The applicant shall describe the degree to which the applicant will coordinate and utilize other literacy and social services available in the community. [Section 322(a)(1)(A-C)]

  10. The applicant shall explain its commitment to serve individuals in the community that are most in need of literacy services. [Section 322(a)(1)(A-C)]

  11. The applicant shall spend not more than five percent of the grant on administration.

  12. The applicant shall provide direct and equitable access to all Federal funds provided under the Act.

  13. Utilize the following definitions:

    "ABE Basic Skills" - Education in elementary basic skills subjects for adults whose native language is English, and whose inability to effectively use these basic skills constitutes a substantial impairment of their ability either to get or retain employment commensurate with their real ability or to function in society.

    "Adult" - Any individual, 16 years of age or who is beyond the age of compulsory school attendance under state law and who is not concurrently enrolled in a comprehensive high school or a compulsory education program.

    "Adult Basic Education Classes" - Classes below the high school level which have as their native objective the teaching of basic literacy skills in a course of study adopted by the agency's governing board. Each course of study shall describe the target population, e.g., ABE, ESL, VESL, handicapped, etc; the functioning level of the students served; the basic literacy and life skills to be taught; and how those skills will be integrated into a competency-based adult education program. Note: For purposes of supplemental grants under Section 321 in the Basic Skills Program, only students functioning below the high school level qualify for funding. In addition, agencies must complete certification form (ED 80-0013). This certification form consolidates certifications required under 34 CFR Part 82, "New Restrictions on Lobbying" and 34 CFR Part 85, "Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non procurement)" and Government-wide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace.

    "Adult Education Unit" - The unit of the California Department of Education which serves as the administering body for [P.L. 100-297].

    "Applicant Agency" - Section 321 supplemental grants provided through the State Education Agency may be carried out by public or private agencies, organizations, and institutions. Such applicant agency shall be the primary provider of the basic education and/or ESL classes for which supplemental funding is requested. Private, for-profit agencies awarded grants shall enter into a contract with the California Department of Education through the procedures described by its contracts office. Statewide agencies or organizations shall be allowed only one application. No agency levying any kind of fee, tuition, or charge to the students will be an eligible applicant.

    "Basic Literacy Skills" - Those skills relating to the general categories of reading, writing, computation, communication, problem solving, and interpersonal skills that enable adults to read, write, compute, acquire a secondary diploma, and become more employable, productive, and responsible citizens.

    "Competency-Based Education" - A performance-based process leading to demonstrated mastery of skills or knowledge. This process involves identifying specific, measurable competencies or outcomes; progressing as quickly as possible to more difficult competencies yet paced to each individual's rate of learning; encouraging open entry, open exit delivery of services; encouraging alternative instructional methods and materials; and ongoing assessment of students, with a capacity to provide students with criterion-referenced test measures and immediate feedback on their performance.

    "Educationally Disadvantaged Adult" - An adult who demonstrates basic skills equivalent to or below that of students at the fifth grade level; or has been placed in the lowest or beginning level of an adult education program when that program does not use grade level equivalencies as a measure of students' basic skills. [P.L. 100-297, Section 312(3)(A&B)]

    "English-as-a-Second Language" (ESL) - Adult education for adults whose inability to understand, speak, read, or write the English language constitutes a substantial impairment of their ability to get or retain employment commensurate with their real ability or to function in society.

    "Hundred-Hour Units" (HHU) - 100 hours of student attendance equal one unit of reimbursement of supplemental funds.

    "Institutionalized Adults" - Adults who are inmates, patients, or residents of correctional, medical, or state institutions.

    "Life Skills" - Those skills which are considered the content of adult literacy dealing with such classifications as consumer economics, government and law, occupational knowledge, community resources, and health that are integrated into an educational agency's basic literacy skills course of study.

    "Networking" - Systematic and voluntary efforts toward communication and coordination among adult education providers and related organizations in a community or region.

    "Substantially Handicapped" - Those who have handicaps which are likely to continue indefinitely or for a prolonged period, and whose handicap results in substantial functional limitations in: self care, receptive or expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, or economic self-sufficiency.

    "Unit Rate" - The amount of federal funds under the Adult Education Act that is available to an applicant agency for each 100 student hours of attendance, dividing the amount of money available under Section 321 by the requested 100 hour units of attendance.

All eligible agencies meeting the above criteria will receive funds. In addition, applicants must have demonstrated or can demonstrate a capability to recruit and serve educationally disadvantaged adults particularly in areas with a high proportion of adults who do not have a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education or its equivalent. [Section 322(a)(5)]

Distribution of Funds

Funds will be distributed to approved applicants in the following manner:

  1. The amount of the local assistance grant will be based upon a fixed unit rate calculated each year and multiplied by the projected units of 100 student hours of attendance (HHU). The unit rate is calculated by dividing the dollars available for Local Assistance Grants by the total number of 100-hour units approved by the State.

  2. The agency will receive a unit rate that is 25 percent higher than the basic HHU rate that is 25 percent higher for the recruitment and retention of Native English Speakers enrolled in ABE/literacy classes.

  3. There shall be a minimum local grant of $3500, which shall be used exclusively for the purposes of staff development, program assessment, and networking.

  4. Funds will be awarded on the basis of the actual number of attendance units served. Regardless of the number of attendance units served, grantees will not receive funds which exceed the total amount of their grant. Reports during the fiscal year may require the California Department of Education to determine whether individual projects are serving enough students to be commensurate with the grant amount. Grant levels will be adjusted downward if students have not been recruited in sufficient numbers.

  5. Funds will be awarded under Section 322 in a 2 year competitive process to public housing authorities for literacy programs and related activities. [Note: These are "Gateway Grants" and any public housing authority that receives a grant under Section 322 shall consult with local adult education agencies (LEAs) in conducting programs and activities with assistance provided under the grant. [Section 322(a)(3)(A)]

The procedures summarized in this chapter have been designed to ensure a clear and efficient way of distributing funds to local educational providers in ways that meet general planning priorities.


*****Continued On "Ch.09 Instructional Resources"*****