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The problem of Illiterate Public School Graduates

Noting that in Pennsylvania, 30 percent of the adult population is functionally illiterate and another 24 percent has only marginal competence, and that no state funds are appropriated for adult basic education and general educational development (ABE/GED) programs but that all programs are supported by federal aid, the Pennsylvania Association reported that many of the functionally illiterate and/or marginally literate end up on social welfare roles. Thus, they proposed a funding model for ABE/GED programs predicated on the current federal funding base.

Preliminary evaluation of the model revealed that allocation of funds was linked to the removal of students from the public welfare rolls. For the first two years, state support equaled welfare dollars saved during the previous year as a result of ABE/GED programs. Funding for subsequent years was based on the number of individuals who were welfare recipients and ABE/GED students simultaneously and who gained employment during the year following program completion.

The Department of Education administered the state allocation with grants to local projects being awarded on the basis of potential (1) reduction or prevention of welfare payments, (2) improvement of the labor pool and diversification of the economic base, and (3) integration of other funds and services.

Another sociological approach to handling the problem of public school graduates being illiterate has been to utilize sociological institutions other than that of the education system persay; for example, the library. In this regard, the New York Business Council for Effective Literacy has published a report which states that public libraries are uniquely positioned to assist the 72 million Americans who, by virtue of being illiterate or marginally literate, are not ordinarily library users.

The Council reports that a formal link between libraries and literacy can be traced back to the 1920s when the Ame...

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The problem of Illiterate Public School Graduates. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:54, August 18, 2017, from
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