ProLiteracy Calls Los Angeles Funding Cuts for Adult Education Short-Sighted and Harmful

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LA Unified proposal would potentially affect more than 3 million Los Angelenos who function at the lowest levels of literacy.

The Los Angeles Unified School District recently proposed cutting all funding for adult education and literacy programs—a move that would hurt some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable residents, says ProLiteracy President and CEO David C. Harvey. The budget cut proposal would likely have an adverse effect on the 33 percent of Los Angelenos who cannot read well enough to fill out a job application or read a news article.

“L.A. Unified’s budget cut proposal is short-sighted and will only serve to undermine the city’s economy,” says Harvey. “Like elsewhere in the U.S., Los Angeles needs adults who can function in the work world and who are literate in reading, writing, basic math and in the use of technology. A cut of this magnitude is unprecedented.”

Other states, as well as local governments around the nation, are also contemplating budget cuts to adult literacy and basic education. At the same time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment among adults with the lowest literacy skills has soared to more than 14 percent nationwide, compared to the national average of 8.3 percent.

“Clearly, budget proposals that slash adult literacy and basic education programs are only quick-fix solutions that undermine some of those most in need around our nation,” says Harvey. “Now more than ever, Los Angeles and the United States as a whole need adults who are well trained for the 21st century work world. We urge L.A. Unified to rethink this budget cut proposal and maintain funding for much-needed adult literacy and basic education programs.”

For more information, contact Amy Schmitz, director of communications, at (315) 422-9121, ext. 285.

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Amy Schmitz

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