Postsecondary education and training are increasingly the gateway to family-sustaining employment. While access to postsecondary education is a barrier for many low-income students, too many students who enter college fail to complete programs and attain credentials. Some students may leave after achieving short term goals, but most students, even nontraditional ones such as working adults, enter college with the goal of earning a certificate or degree. CLASP seeks to address both access and success challenges to ensure more low-income people succeed in the labor market.
House Subcommittee Approves FY 2011 Education Funding to Assist Low-Income Students
By Marcie W.M. Foster and Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield
The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education recently approved a bill that is consistent with the President’s FY 2011 budget request for key education programs that can help low-income adults access and complete postsecondary education.
Although this bill is only the first step in the federal appropriations process, it sends an important message that the nation needs targeted education and training investments so more low-income students and workers can access education and training to help them gain skills needed in our recovering economy.
Most notably, the bill increased funding for Pell Grants, which more than eight million low-income students rely on each year for tuition-related expenses, by almost $5.7 billion. This increase would cover the looming funding shortfall and is necessary to ensure students continue to receive aid.
Unverified reports indicate that other student aid programs did not fare as well. Gear Up, TRIO, Federal Work-Study, and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants received flat funding or modest increases, and the bill eliminated the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships (LEAP) Grants program.
The subcommittee approved $1.9 billion for career and adult education, equal to the President’s budget request. According to reports, President Obama’s request for funding for the adult education portion of these funds was also matched at $612 million, which reflects a decrease of $16 million from the previous fiscal year. While this decrease is unfortunate, it’s important to note that last year’s appropriations included a one-time increase to correct for several years of federal accounting errors that prevented states from receiving the total funding that they were entitled to under the budget.
Recent findings show that, due to insufficient funding, the number of individuals on adult education waiting lists has doubled since 2008, and the problem is expected to continue until Congress increases appropriations for adult education. A recent report from the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) found that just $160 million in additional appropriations would allow states to serve those currently on waiting lists.
The Senate is expected to markup the bill before the August recess.
- Aug 26, 2010 Webinar: Helping Low-Income Adults and Disadvantaged Youth Earn Credentials and Build Careers: Leading Foundations Speak about Policy Priorities
- Julie Strawn | Jul 08, 2010 Shifting Gears: State Innovation to Advance Adult Workers and the Economy in the Midwest
- Vickie Choitz, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Marcie W.M. Foster, Linda Harris, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Neil Ridley, Julie Strawn | May 18, 2010 Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States
- Evelyn Ganzglass, Andrew Reamer, Brandon Roberts, Whitney Smith, Rachel Unruh | Mar 22, 2010 Recommendations for Incorporating Postsecondary and Workforce Data into Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems
- Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield and Thomas Hilliard | Dec 10, 2009 Recommendations to Refocus WIA Title II on Career and Postsecondary Success
- Marcie Foster | Apr 22, 2013 Testimony to the Committee on Education on the FY14 Budget for the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education
- Vickie Choitz and Patrick Reimherr | Apr 16, 2013 Mind the Gap: High Unmet Financial Need Threatens Persistence and Completion for Low-Income Community College Students
- Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Julie Strawn, and Patrick Reimherr | Apr 15, 2013 Comments on Education and Family Tax Benefits
- Allegra Baider, Vickie Choitz, Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Marcie W.M. Foster, Linda Harris, Elizabeth Lower-Basch, Neil Ridley, Julie Strawn | Mar 25, 2013 Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States
- Lavanya Mohan | Mar 04, 2013 CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - February 2013