Education has always been a key stepping stone to success in the U.S. But some adults don’t have the education they need to access post-secondary education and good jobs. Without diplomas and key skills, these adults can struggle. In Colorado, about 340,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 lack a high school diploma or its equivalent. That’s almost 10 percent of our working-age population.
We need to give more adults better opportunities to improve their education. And our state needs more educated workers.
After being the last state in the nation to dedicate state funds to adult education — Colorado now is boosting adult literacy and education.
Colorado’s Adult Education and Literacy Grant Program aims to help more low-skilled, low-literacy adults move faster toward post-secondary education and jobs and is exceeding initial expectations. During the latest reporting period, 1,351 adult learners were enrolled and more than 125 state agencies, community organizations, and businesses were part of grantee partnerships throughout the state. A new Colorado Department of Education fact sheet provides updates.
The Bell Policy Center strongly supported the creation of the grant program during the 2014 state legislative session (House Bill 14-1085) and I continue to serve on the program’s advisory committee. Creating this program was an historic step for our state because it meant that Colorado finally joined all of the other states in providing state funding for adult education and literacy. Read my full 2014 comments on the program’s importance here.