Congress will return from its August recess on September 13, with just three weeks to complete the appropriations process for the fiscal 2023 federal budget before the end of fiscal 2022 on September 30. Our sources indicate that completion of the process within that time frame is unlikely. Congress is therefore likely to adopt a continuing resolution (a temporary extension of FY 2022 funding) to authorize ongoing funding until mid-December or possibly even mid-January. This will allow negotiations to take place in the context of the outcomes of the November election.
Where Things Stand
President’s Budget: The 2023 President’s Budget Request, issued by the White House on March 28, included $700 million for Adult Education State Grants and $38.7 million for National Leadership Activities, an overall increase of $34.5 million (5 percent) over the FY 2022 enacted amount. Most of that increase lies in the increase from $13.7 million (2022 enacted) to $38.7 million (2023 request) for National Leadership Activities, designated mainly for development of higher education bridge programs. The President included the same amount in his 2022 budget request, but it was not included in the final budget reconciliation.
House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriation: On June 30 the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2023 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill. It includes $714,000,000 for Adult Basic and Literacy Education State Grants, which is $23,545,000 (3.4 percent) more that the FY 2022 enacted amount, and $18,712,000 for National Leadership Activities, which is $5,000,000 (36 percent) more than the FY 2022 enacted amount. The House bill also includes the following note:
Improved Coordination between Career and Technical Education and Adult Education.—To ensure that individuals can succeed in today’s economy, the Committee encourages the Department to identify and pursue opportunities to better align the postsecondary CTE system with the adult education system. Adult education can be an effective on-ramp to postsecondary CTE and a valuable partner in designing and implementing integrated education and training (IET) models that blend basic skills instruction and occupational training to expand equitable access to skills training, high quality credentials and family-supporting careers.
View the House Labor, HHS, and Education appropriation bill here; the Adult Education explanatory text is on page 272.
Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriation: The Senate Appropriations Committee released its proposed Democratic FY 2023 funding bills, including the one for Labor-HHS-Education, on July 28. The bill includes a total of $739,167,000 for WIOA Title II (AEFLA): $725,455,000 for Adult Education State Grants (an increase of 5 percent over the 2022 enacted amount) and $13,712,000 for National Leadership Activities (level funded with the 2022 enacted amount). The National Leadership text also includes the following note:
The Committee encourages the Department to support technical assistance that will help build the evidence-base of adult education programs, including supporting States in prioritizing rigorously evaluated programs.
View the Senate’s explanatory statement and budget for Labor-HHS-Education. The explanatory statement for Adult Education is on page 273 and the budget lines for Adult Education are on page 425.
The table below summarizes the budget proposals in comparison with the FY 2022 enacted amounts.
|FY 2022 Enacted||2023 President’s Request||% change from 2022||2023 House||% change from 2022||2023 Senate||% change from 2022|
|Adult Education State Grants||690,455,000||700,000,000||+1.4||714,000,000||+3.4||725,455,000||+5.1|
|National Leadership Activities||13,712,000||38,700,000||+282.2||18,712,000||+36.5||13,712,000||0|
With appropriations negotiations continuing through the fall and perhaps into the winter, adult education advocates will have an extended opportunity to promote a funding increase for Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (WIOA Title II) programs and activities. As you make your advocacy plans for Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and beyond, you may want to bear two things in mind:
- NCL and its member organizations have been advocating for annual increases in federal funding for Adult Education State Grants that would lift the total to $1 billion over 5 years. To achieve that goal, funding levels will need to rise by about 9 percent per year over the 2022 enacted level of $690,455,000. The increases that the 2023 proposals include are a good start, but substantially more will be needed to ensure that adult education programs are accessible to all who need them, can provide the full inventory of services that empower adult learners to persist and succeed, and can offer compensation and professional development that are appropriate for instructors and program staff.
- Due to the November 8 election, the House is scheduled to be out of session all of October and in session only two non-consecutive weeks in November. The Senate has scheduled state work periods October 3-10, October 24-November 8, and November 21-25. These schedules provide opportunities to meet with your Members of Congress in person while they are in your local area.