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ERIC Number: ED538039
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a Survey of State Adult Education Tuition and Financing Policies
Foster, Marcie
Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP)
At no time in recent history has the importance of adult education been greater and the funding more threatened. Despite the fact that as many as 93 million adults in the U.S. may need basic skills services to improve their economic prospects, funding for these services is stagnating at the federal level and being slashed in statehouses and state agencies across the country. Demand remains high, with at least 160,000 people on waiting lists that exist in nearly every state. At the same time, the labor market is shifting to one that requires workers to have postsecondary credentials to compete. With this shift, the adult education system must transform the way that services are delivered--helping students meet these new demands by preparing them for college and career success, not just a secondary school diploma. To begin the conversation about how to meet existing and emerging needs with shrinking resources, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Council for State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) surveyed state directors of adult education in February 2012. The goal was to glean information about important policies that govern the way adult education is funded, including the costs borne by local districts, community colleges, and other providers and by the states, the federal government, and students. The results shed light on a national system whose state branches are more different than they are similar. States vary widely across each topic covered--with one critical exception. Most strive to keep costs low for students, who desperately need adult education services to build a better life for themselves and improve their economic prospects. The field of adult education is changing, and with it, financing and tuition policies are shifting to meet new priorities. This survey provides a close look into instrumental funding and tuition policies, but more research should be done to understand how state policy can encourage programming in support of college and career readiness, as well as how federal and state policies may affect overall funding levels for basic skills services. Appended are: (1) Percentage of Funding, by Revenue Source; (2) State Tuition Policies; and (3) State Policies on GED[R] Testing Fees. (Contains 7 tables, 3 figures, and 30 endnotes.) ["Sinking or Swimming: Findings from a Survey of State Adult Education Tuition and Financing Policies" was written with Lennox McLendon.]
Center for Law and Social Policy. 1015 15th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Workforce Investment Act 1998 Title II
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: General Educational Development Tests