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Obama Requests Level Funding for Adult Education

Posted on 02/15/2012

Federal Budget
Photo: C-Span [www]

President Obama announced his 2013 budget request on Monday, Feb. 13. The budget for the Department of Education represents an overall proposed increase of $1.7 billion, for a 2.5 percent increase above the enacted FY 2012 budget. The budget includes $606.3 million to support activities under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998, which represents level funding.

Of the total, $594,993,000 is available for Adult Education State Grants. Of this latter amount, 1.72 percent is reserved for incentive grants, $15,000,000 is available to the secretary for the Workforce Innovation Fund, and $74,709,000 is available for English literacy and civics education. An additional $11,323,000 is provided for national activities. Although level funding is proposed, the $15,000,000 for the Workforce Innovation Fund is proposed to come from the state adult education grants.

The president's budget proposal also includes $1.13 billion to support the reauthorization and reform of the Career and Technical Education program so that what students learn is more closely aligned with the demands of the workforce, linkages to postsecondary education are strengthened, and the Department can provide funding to promote innovation and reform in CTE. This reflects level funding for activities under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. Of the total funding, $1,123,030,000 includes $1,020,030,000 in formula funds for grants to states, allocations to territories, the Indian program set-aside, and the Native Hawaiian grants, and $103,000,000 in non-formula funds for other purposes. An additional $7,829,000 is provided for national activities to support program performance and improvement.

Congress has already begun work on their own budget proposals, and will need to reach compromises within their own ranks and with the President's budget. This is the beginning of the budget process, a process that involves "no less than 40 congressional committees, 24 subcommittees, countless hearings and a number of floor votes in the House and Senate," according to CNN Money [www]. The goal for completion of the budget process is October 1, 2012, the start of the new fiscal year, but this deadline has not always been met.

Adapted from the OVAE Connections, Special Issue: February 15, 2012 newsletter of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U. S. Department of Education [www], and from the National Coalition for Literacy blog [www].