Three mid-Michigan school districts are among 97 statewide receiving state funding to improve adult education and literacy efforts.
In total, Mt. Pleasant, Fulton and Clare schools got $219,000 of the $13.6 million awarded in Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funding.
Specifically, Mt. Pleasant received $100,000, Fulton got $84,000 and Clare got $35,000.
This year’s funding represents an increase of nearly 13% in approved providers over the previous program year.
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The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded the funding as part of a competitively bid grant application process.
The AEFLA funds are awarded annually to state agencies by the U.S. Department of Education.
Announcement of the funding last week coincided with National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, celebrated Sept. 21-25 year to raise awareness about the importance of Adult Education and increase visibility for the work of teachers, administrators and adult learners.
Expansion of access to adult education aligns with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.
“There’s a strong correlation between educational attainment and income,” said Stephanie Beckhorn, LEO’s Director of the Office of Employment and Training.
“Supporting programs that allow adults to make meaningful educational progress creates pathways to better jobs and financial stability for workers and their families. It also helps address the skills gap that challenges the success of Michigan businesses and our state’s prosperity.”
The 97 adult education providers across the state approved for AEFLA funding represent a net increase of 11 providers and includes providers of General Instruction, Institutional and/or Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education.
The state’s commitment to Adult Education also includes Futures for Frontliners which was formally launched by Gov. Whitmer on September 10. This new initiative is the nation’s first program offering tuition-free college to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April to June 2020.
Futures for Frontliners offers Michigan adults without college degrees or high school diplomas who provided essential services during the pandemic a tuition-free pathway to gaining the skills needed to obtain high-demand, high-wage careers. The funding is available to essential workers in healthcare, manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery, retail and more.