Marshall Adult Education
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2007 Legislative Platform
Employers identify lack of qualified workers as the biggest barrier to economic
growth in Minnesota . Nearly 400,000 Minnesotans over age 25 lack high school
Approximately 200,000 state residents are foreign born, often without basic
English skills Labor shortages are growing in Minnesota The mismatch between
employer needs for English-proficient, skilled workers and the available labor
force is increasing. As large-scale baby boomer retirements loom, the need for
replacement workers grows. When businesses cannot fill jobs, they relocate
ABE addresses these challenges
ABE provided English Language Learning (ELL), GED preparation, Basic Skills
assistance, and Workforce education to 80,452 Minnesotans last year (a 78%
increase over ten years). Students earned 6,308 GEDs in 2006. One in every 11
diplomas issued in Minnesota is through ABE. Most ABE students are in the prime
working demographic of 25-44 years old.
ABE is a major player in workforce education, working actively with DEED, MNSCU,
and others to formulate creative solutions to the workforce needs of employers.
The state ABE office has established workforce education as its top priority.
Lack of funding limits ABE effectiveness
While ABE enrollment has increased by 70% since 1995, funding has been nearly
flat for the past four years. The average hourly reimbursement rate fell 35%
since 2001. The delivery system has made tremendous strides in accountability,
achieving high-quality outcomes, and using resources wisely. Yet ABE waiting
lists are filled with potential employees needing basic skills training, while
employers lack qualified job applicants and jobs go unfilled. In response, the
Governor's Workforce Development Council (GWDC) has endorsed significant
increases in ABE funding.
LITERACY MINNESOTA LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
INCREASE ADULT BASIC EDUCATION (ABE) FUNDING BY $10 MILLION
ALLOCATE 95% OF NEW FUNDING TO THE CONTACT HOURS PORTION OF THE FORMULA;
DIRECT 5% TO DEFRAY GED EXAM FEES AND SUPPORT A PILOT GED ONLINE STUDY PROGRAM
LIFT CONSORTIA GROWTH CAPS FOR ONE YEAR TO ACCOMMODATE ACTUAL GROWTH IN AREAS OF
Literacy Minnesota a voice for Adult Basic Education
ABE Service Delivery: Crucial to the economic future of Minnesota
ABE builds strong families, providing skills parents need to help and support
their children Educating children requires educating adults. K12 schools
identify lack of parents' education as a major barrier to parental involvement.
Inability to speak or read English, lack of knowledge about how to help with
homework, fear of authorities, cultural beliefs - all can prevent parents from
helping their children do well in school.
The very skills ABE emphasizes are those needed by parents - reading, speaking,
numeracy, ability to understand American institutions. Even ABE workforce
programs have a positive impact on participants' children: a study of women in
several adult education and job training programs revealed that 65% of their
children showed educational improvements as a result of their mothers'
experiences - even when the programs did not set out to do anything except
educate the mothers.
ABE - KEY TO IMPROVING K12 OUTCOMES
Parents' involvement helps their children succeed in school. Decades of research
show that family involvement is key to children's educational outcomes:
The educational level of mothers is the single biggest influence on the
educational attainments of their children.
When families are involved in their children's education, children earn better
grades, attend school more regularly, complete more homework, show more positive
attitudes and behaviors, and graduate from high school at higher rates. As
Minnesota struggles to prepare its children to compete in a global economy, ABE
promises to help those most at-risk.
By assisting poorly educated adults, ABE helps insure: .Parents know how
important it is to read to their children, gaining the skills to do so.
Parents are able to monitor their children's homework, assisting them when
Parents understand the importance of meeting their children's teachers, learning
how to become more involved with schools.
Watching their parents attend classes and master new skills demonstrates to
children the importance of education.
Literacy Minnesota a voice for Adult Basic Education .
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