The budget proposes at least a 16% reduction for adult basic skills programs and even greater reductions in other areas.
We have seen an early preview of the president’s proposed education budget for fiscal year 18. The formal budget will be out on May 24, but this preview gives us a hint of what we will see at that time.
Disappointedly, the budget proposes at least a 16% reduction for adult basic skills programs and even greater reductions in other areas. This is not a surprise considering that preliminary reductions of 13% across the board were earlier announced.
While the proposed reductions are unfortunate, the greater disappointment is that once again the awareness of adult literacy and its importance in the greater spectrum of education is not evident in this budget. The key role that adult literacy plays in the advancement of children in the K-12 system continues to be lost on policymakers and budget developers.
The undeniable link between parents and the improvement of children in public education has been proven since the early 80s. Studies by the Ford Foundation during that time flatly stated that any efforts at improving children’s literacy will FAIL without a complementary adult literacy program.
The new budget proposal once again attempts to improve the public education system by putting additional resources into charter schools, school choice, and similar K-12 initiatives, all at the expense of adult literacy programs that are critical to the success of these efforts.
At ProLiteracy, we will continue to fight the proposed federal cuts in adult literacy spending. We will do all we can to promote and underscore the critical value of adult education as it relates to families, children, and the overall health of the nation.