Pennsylvania - Parent Supports and Education Programs: Stakeholders

Policy Type: 

State law encourages districts to implement parent education or support programs to address family needs.

Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1986 Act 143. Section 2. Findings and purpose.

(a)  FINDINGS.— The General Assembly finds and declares:

  • (1) This Commonwealth has 1,500,000 adults over 18 years of age who have not completed their high school education, which places Pennsylvania fifth in the nation with the greatest number of people without high school diplomas.
  • (2) This Commonwealth has 4,000,000 adults in need of adult literacy services, based on the State Adult Literacy Survey, demonstrating they lack the skills and knowledge essential to cope with daily demands and without the educational background to participate in occupational training or employment.
  • (3) Less than 2% of these 4,000,000 adults participate in adult literacy education programs.
  • (4) In this Commonwealth, a system needs to exist to coordinate the hundreds of existing adult and family literacy education programs, State agencies funding programs with adult and family literacy education components, independent adult and family literacy data systems for each funding stream and training, technical assistance and information/research dissemination.
  • (5) If adult education needs are not more fully met, the Commonwealth could be forced to increase its support of these individuals through unemployment compensation, welfare payments and correctional institutions. A general decline of Statewide productivity may ensue.
  • (6) Family literacy education is an opportunity for undereducated adults and their children to increase the child’s readiness for school and chances for academic success, the parent’s involvement in the child’s education and the parent’s basic skills.

(b)  PURPOSE.— It is the intent of this act to provide coordination and broaden the scope of educational activities to uneducated and undereducated adults in this Commonwealth and their families, including those who speak other languages, and to provide programs to those individuals who have previously been unserved. By providing for the coordination of funding streams and programs across State departments, increased and improved services will be provided to adult learners and their families. By encouraging and expanding the availability of adult and family literacy education programs in this Commonwealth, these adults and their families will be able to function more effectively in their personal lives and as citizens and be better prepared for work force training and employment that they may become more responsible and productive members of society.

Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1986 Act 143. Section 4. Grant program.

(a)  ESTABLISHMENT.— There is hereby established within the Department of Education an adult and family literacy education grant program. Adult and family literacy education providers may apply to the Department of Education for grants to provide the following services:

  • (1) Adult literacy education programs for eligible adults, including salaries, wages, fringe benefits, books and other instructional materials.
  • (1.1) Family literacy education programs for eligible parents and their children.
  • (2) Training for volunteer adult literacy education instructors.
  • (3) Administration of adult and family literacy education programs.
  • (4) Support services necessary to enable individuals to participate in and benefit from the program.
  • (5) Outreach activities to enroll eligible adults and to recruit volunteer tutors and instructors.

(b)  PROCEDURES, RULES AND FORMS.— The Secretary of Education shall adopt such procedures, rules and forms as may be necessary to implement this grant program. Applications shall be made to the Department of Education in such form and at such time as the Secretary of Education may prescribe. Funds received under this program may be used in conjunction with funds received from any other public or private source.

(c)  PRIORITIES FOR FUNDING.— The Secretary of Education shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors when evaluating proposals for adult and family literacy education programs:

  • (1) Percentage of eligible adults expected to be enrolled for instruction who are receiving either State or Federal public assistance, or who are unemployed workers or displaced homemakers.
  • (2) Percentage of eligible adults in any local area who do not have certificates of graduation from a secondary school and who are not currently enrolled in adult or family literacy education programs.
  • (3) Percentage of eligible adults expected to be enrolled who are members of minority groups.
  • (4) Percentage of eligible adults with less than a fifth grade reading level to be served.
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