Right now 6,000 Pennsylvanians are on waiting lists for adult literacy programs. They urgently want to improve their lives through education. The programs do not have the capacity to serve these needy people because of cuts in state funding over the past several years.
Although labeled as “adult literacy,” these programs provide a wide range of services including GED preparation, GED testing, English as a second language and workforce skills training. A report by the Pennsylvania Association of Adult Continuing Education shows that the programs return more than $2.50 to the state government for every dollar invested in them. That is possible because they lower expenses for welfare and unemployment compensation, and they increase the amount of income tax paid as students find jobs.
Adult literacy programs have the ability to lift families out of poverty. We urge state legislators to approve a $2 million increase in funding to serve the thousands of people on waiting lists. Our economy and our state will benefit.
JACKIE KALOCAY HOGG
President, Board of Directors
Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council