Lack of Funding Compounds Adult Literacy Crisis in U.S. Among Hispanics and Persons Living in Poverty - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Lack of Funding Compounds Adult Literacy Crisis in U.S. Among Hispanics and Persons Living in Poverty

SYRACUSE, N.Y., May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by David C. Harvey, President & CEO, ProLiteracy, on the Department of Education report on literacy:

"The U.S. Department of Education National Assessment of Adult Literacy supplemental reports underscore the need for Congress and the President to address the adult literacy crisis in America to help more people move out of poverty and improve job skills important for the country's competitiveness.

The fact that 32 million adults lack basic literacy skills to read medicine bottles or utility bills or fill out job applications should set off alarm bells. This latest report estimates that there are 11 million adults living in the U.S. who are nonliterate in English—the equivalent of the populations of Connecticut, Oklahoma and Oregon combined. We need to help more of these Americans—a majority whom are Hispanic—get into English as Second Language programs.

The report also notes that adults with vision, hearing or learning disabilities are more likely to be at the lowest levels of literacy, making it important to address the learning needs of this group of Americans.

Congress should increase funding for the Workforce Investment Act Title II and allow more adults needing literacy and English as Second Language instruction access to community-based and other adult education programs. The high unemployment in the U.S. is affecting the least skilled Americans, many of whom are trying to get into adult education and literacy classes only to be put on waiting lists. We can't wait any longer to help more adults learn basic literacy and English skills needed for success in the job market and in life."

Editor's Note: To read the full Department of Education report, please visit:

About ProLiteracy

ProLiteracy works with adult new readers and learners in partnership with local, national, and international organizations, providing training, professional development, and advocacy. It also develops and distributes materials used to instruct adults in reading, writing, math, and English as a second language through its publishing division, New Readers Press. ProLiteracy has 1,200 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 125 nongovernmental international agencies. For more information, go to and

SOURCE ProLiteracy

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