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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-91


Availability of Workforce Investment Act of 1998 Section 231 Funds for Adult Basic Education, Including English as a Second Language/Civics Funds from section 1000(a)(4) of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and Adult Secondary Education Programs, for Program Year 2003-04

[33 Pa.B. 366]

   Title II of The Workforce Investment Act of 1998, The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, provides funds to local eligible provider agencies through the Department of Education (Department) for the establishment of adult education and family literacy programs that will:

   1.  Assist adults to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency.

   2.  Assist adults who are parents to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children.

   3.  Assist adults in the completion of a secondary school education.

   Additional funding has recently been requested by the United States Department of Education for the sole purpose of integrating ''English literacy and civics education services to immigrants and other limited English proficient populations.'' The Commonwealth is expected to receive approximately $1 million of the $70 million allocated funds. Funding for English as a Second Language (ESL) will not be awarded without a civics curriculum component. Instruction is intended for, but not limited to, those immigrants seeking permanent legal residence in the United States.

   Eligible applicants include local education agencies and public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations and institutions. A for-profit agency is eligible to participate in the program only if it is part of a consortium with a local education agency or other eligible sponsor, with the nonprofit agency acting as the fiscal agent. A for-profit organization must also have the capability and capacity to augment significantly the adult education services of a consortium.

   Consistent with the purpose of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and the intent of the earmarked funding for ESL/Civics, for Program Year 2003-04, the Department will give consideration to programs for immigrants seeking permanent legal residence in the United States as follows:

   1.  Primary Consideration--Applications for the continuation or expansion of existing ESL/Civics programs that have demonstrated an ability to produce results consistent with the objectives of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and the requirements of the ESL/Civics earmarked funding.

   2.  Secondary Consideration--Applications for other ESL/Civics programs that demonstrate evidence of an ability to produce results consistent with the objectives of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and the requirements of the Federal ESL/Civics earmarked funding language.

   In applying for ESL/Civics program funding, agencies will determine appropriate funding levels (grant amounts) by ensuring that the cost per student does not exceed $450. Contact Jeff Bostic at (717) 787-6344 if assistance in this calculation is required.

   When mailing in the rider signature page, the applicant should also enclose documentation that provides evidence of the following:

   1.  A compelling need for the services, such as waiting lists.

   2.  The ability to integrate civics instruction into existing ESL programming.

   3.  A plan for integrating and delivering curriculum and evaluating the benefits of this instruction.

   4.  Proof of a viable curriculum that is used for ESL instruction that includes assessment.

   5.  A history of having met or exceeded its enrollment obligations for the past several years in programs funded by the Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE).

   6.  An assurance that agency staff will attend ESL/Civics training.

   The Grant Period (or duration of a Section 231 ESL/Civics grant) will be for a term of 1 year--July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004. Grants will be funded by Rider K to a Master Agreement executed between the Department and the funded agency. Both current and new ESL/Civics grant recipients will have to execute new Master Agreements in the winter of 2002-03 since current Master Agreements expire June 30, 2003. The Department will mail out Master Agreements in the coming months. Funded agencies must execute a 2003-04 Program Year Rider K, to include a budget and the application narrative to receive funding. Agencies not currently funded will be given instructions on execution of the Master Agreement once grant applications are accepted for approval.

   Section 231 ESL/Civics grants will comprise the 75% Federal share of total program costs. Grant recipients must fund the 25% local match share that may be in-kind. Other Federal funds may not be used for the local match unless specifically identified as eligible for use as matching funds.

   Restrictions placed upon the Department by the United States Department of Education on the administration of the grant include:

   1.  Not less than 82.5% of the State's allotment must be used for adult education and/or family literacy programs.

   2.  Not more than 8.25% of the State's allotment may be used for corrections education programs.

   3.  Not more than 5% of a local applicant's grant may be used for administrative costs, unless a higher percent is approved in advance by the Department's Bureau of ABLE.

   Section 231 ESL/Civics applications must be completed online and submitted from the e-grant website at to the Bureau of ABLE. Instructions and the Application Guidelines are available via the ABLE website at and from the e-grant website.

   Application due date for ESL/Civics (an 061 project in the e-grant process) is April 18, 2003.

   The Bureau of ABLE reserves the right to consider proposals received after these deadlines and, if appropriate, to approve them if and when funds become available.

   Potential applicants are urged to attend the proposal development workshop to learn the latest changes to program guidelines and new requirements for submitting e-grant applications for adult education and family literacy programs funded through: (1) the Federal Workforce Investment Act, Section 231; (2) State Adult Literacy Program, Act 143 of 1986; and (3) the Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program. This workshop will be conducted by teleconference on January 31, 2003, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. For the nearest downlink site and to ensure that space, materials and handouts are available, attendees must register to attend by visiting the Distance Learning, PaTTAN website at If unable to register online, interested parties may register by completing a registration form and faxing it to (412) 826-6872 or mailing it to Marty Rist, Distance Learning, PaTTAN--Pittsburgh, 3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. For answers to questions regarding downlink sites, registration or satellite coordinates, e-mail PaTTAN Distance Learning at For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Pennsylvania Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TTY), can be used to call the Distance Learning Center. To ensure timely administration and processing of e-grant applications, both the grant writer and the fiscal officer should attend the workshop.

   ESL/Civics funding is not to be considered permanent, as its continued availability is not something that is guaranteed. For information on existing civics materials, contact the state literacy resource center, ADVANCE at (800) 992-2283.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-91. Filed for public inspection January 17, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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