Invest in the Adult Literacy Education Program (ALE) at $10 million
We support the 2015-16 NYS budget request being made by Literacy New York (LNY) and the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL) to fund the Adult Literacy Education Program (ALE) at $10 million. This funding would restore the $1 million from last year and provide for new funds of $3.7 million.
The New York State Legislature has been a strong supporter of the Adult Literacy Education program. Last year, they provided an additional $1 million for total program funding of $6.293 million. Unfortunately, the Governor’s proposed budget does not continue that support. We support restoration of the $1 million to bring the program to level funding.
In addition, we recommend an additional investment of $3.7 million for the ALE program – for total funding of $10 million. While this is a large investment, it truly is an investment.
Nationally, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003), 14% of US adults read at or below a 5th grade level and 29% only read at an 8th grade level. Among those with the lowest literacy levels, 43% live in poverty. In New York, there are 2.7 million adults – or 14% of the total state population – without a high school credential. There are 1.2 million adults – or 6% of the total state population – who do not speak English well or at all. The lack of literacy skills is the thread that weaves through so many of today’s societal issues – poverty, incarceration, high dropout rates in schools, and low skills are a real barrier to understanding basic health, financial, consumer and digital literacy.
We have a saying in New York: “Literacy Leads - to Employment - to Independence - to Opportunity©”. The ALE program helps our adult learners achieve each of those goals.
We call on the New York State Legislature to support the Adult Literacy Education program as they have in the past and advocate for total funding of $10 million in the 2015-16 state budget to increase our capacity to provide quality adult education.
Thank you very much.
- New York State Legislature
Fund the Adult Literacy Education Program (ALE) at $10 million
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