Colorado passes the Adult Education Act

By Bryan Wilson, May 07, 2014

On May 5, the Colorado Senate passed the Adult Education and Literacy Act (HB 1085). The Colorado House passed the bill earlier in the session and it now goes to Governor John Hickenlooper who is expected to sign it into law. The bill was the Colorado Skills2Compete (S2C) Campaign’s top priority this legislative session. Once the bill is signed into law, Colorado will join every other state in providing state funding for adult basic education.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Rhonda Fields and Senator Rachel Zenzinger, establishes a $960,000 state program to provide basic literacy and numeracy education for individuals 17 years or older who are not enrolled in secondary education and who do not have a high school diploma or the equivalent.  

The Office for Adult Education within the Department of Education will allocate grants to local partnerships. The local partnerships must include adult basic education providers, higher education and workforce development. The bill requires similar collaboration among state partners, and refocuses adult education on the goals of postsecondary credential attainment and positive employment outcomes for students. As stated in the Act, “These programs must refocus their mission to ensure that more low-skilled, low-income adults not only attain the basic literacy and numeracy skills that they lack, but that they move as quickly as possible from skill acquisition to postsecondary credential attainment to employment.”

National Skills Coalition applauds the Colorado Skills2Compete (S2C) Campaign for the great work they did to get this bill passed.