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A04751 Summary:

Amd 3641, Ed L
Establishes family literacy programs for economically disadvantaged families living in poverty areas or areas with low-performing public schools; provides for competitive matching grants to establish a comprehensive program; requires commissioner of education to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature.
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A04751 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Pretlow
  PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, and improve educational opportunities for New York's low-income families by funding family literacy programs which integrate early childhood development, adult literacy or adult basic education, inter-generational learning and parental education.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 is the legislative finding for family literacy programs. Section 2 creates family literacy grants, authorizing the Commissioner of Education to award competitive matching grants to support comprehen- sive family literacy programs. In order to qualify, programs need to provide an approved family literacy program to eligible families. Para- graph (a) defines relevant terms. Paragraph (b) implements the procedure for awarding grants and reporting requirements. Paragraph (c) sets up a payment schedule for providers. Paragraph (d) requires an annual report evaluating family literacy programs.   JUSTIFICATION: In 1991, the National Literacy Act defined literacy as "an individual's ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one's goals, and develop one's knowledge and potential." According to the 1998 report, THE STATE OF LITERACY IN AMER- ICA by the National Institute for Literacy, the impacts of low literacy are many, including: *Poverty (430 of adults at the lowest level of literacy, Level 1, were living in poverty compared to 49r, at Level 5); *Welfare (Three out of four food stamp recipients performed in the two lowest literacy levels); *Income (Adults at Level 1 earned a median income of $240 per week, compared to $681 for those at Level 5); *Employment Status (Adults at Level 1 worked an average of 19 weeks per year compared to 44 weeks per year for those at Level 5); *Crime (Seven in ten prisoners performed in the lowest two literacy levels).   IN NEW YORK STATE, 25% OF THE ADULT POPULATION IS AT LEVEL 1! Nationally, fewer than 10 percent of adults who could benefit from literacy programs are being served. Recently Congress passed the Work- force Investment Act, Title II - Adult Education and Family Literacy Act which creates a partnership among the federal government, states and localities to provide family education and literacy services. This bill will initiate family literacy programs at the state level in conjunction with the federal effort. By enacting this proposal, New York will begin to create programs necessary to comply with the Workforce Investment Act. Comprehensive family literacy programs will help many parents and chil- dren living in poverty to improve their lives. Many currently existing programs are at full capacity with long waiting lists. In 1996, the Rand Corporation report,   USING DATA TO EVALUATE TEE PERFORMANCE OF THE NEW YORK EDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCE SYSTEM, found that, "...the most important family influ- ences on student test scores are the level of parental education, family size, family income and the age of the mother when the child is born." Family literacy is increasingly being recognized as the future of liter- acy education for adults and children together. Increasing the levels of literacy and education for parents helps them to support the early literacy skills for their children. Educators, economists, legislators and public policy experts are all coming to realize that the recent emphasis on increasing standards for students, early childhood educa- tion, including all-day kindergarten and Universal Pre-K, cannot succeed if we neglect the most important influence in a child's environment: their parents. Putting adult literacy education in the same milieu with elementary and secondary education will result in increased achievement, easier transitions for welfare-to-work, a more skilled workforce, and decreased poverty and crime. In 1994-95 for every dollar spent on adult education, $2.65 was returned to the economy. The modest investment made by this bill will translate into significant economic and social improvement for our State.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2021-2022 A1426 referred to Education 2019-2020 A3669 referred to Education 2017-18 A791 referred to Education 2015-16 A1638 Print Number 1638a 2013-14 A4243A amended and referred to education 2009/2010 Held for consideration in education. 1997-98-A.5505-C 1998-A,10942   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take place July 1, 2018.
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A04751 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 23, 2023
        Introduced  by M. of A. PRETLOW -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Education
        AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation  to  establishing  family
          literacy  programs  for  economically disadvantaged families living in
          poverty areas or in areas served by low-performing public schools

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. Legislative findings and declaration. It is the purpose of
     2  this act to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by  improving
     3  the  educational  opportunities  for  New  York's low-income families by
     4  funding family literacy programs that integrate early childhood develop-
     5  ment, adult literacy or adult basic education, inter-generational learn-
     6  ing and parenting education. The legislature finds and declares that the
     7  provision of comprehensive  family  literacy  programs  will  help  many
     8  parents  and  children  living  in  poverty  to improve their lives. The
     9  legislature finds that, based on national  and  state  surveys,  persons
    10  with  low  literacy  levels  are  most  likely to live in poverty and be
    11  dependent on public assistance. The legislature  finds  that  a  compar-
    12  atively  high  percentage  of  students  attending low-performing public
    13  schools live in poverty or have parents with  limited  English  language
    14  proficiency or poor literacy skills. The legislature finds that there is
    15  inadequate  funding  to address the illiteracy problem in these communi-
    16  ties.  Therefore, the legislature finds that it  is  necessary  to  fund
    17  family literacy programs targeted to economically disadvantaged families
    18  residing  in poverty areas or in attendance zones served by low-perform-
    19  ing public schools to assist adults and children living in these  commu-
    20  nities  to obtain the skills they need to lead successful and productive
    21  lives.
    22    § 2. Section 3641 of the education law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    23  subdivision 18 to read as follows:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 4751                             2
     1    18.  Family  literacy  grants. Within the amount appropriated for such
     2  purpose, the commissioner is directed and authorized  to  award  compet-
     3  itive matching grants to eligible providers to support the establishment
     4  of  comprehensive  family literacy programs. In order to be eligible for
     5  such  a  grant,  a  grantee  shall  provide  an approved family literacy
     6  program to eligible families.
     7    a. Definitions. As used in this section:
     8    (1) "Family literacy program" means services that  are  of  sufficient
     9  intensity in terms of hours and of sufficient duration to make sustaina-
    10  ble  changes  to a family and that integrate all of the following activ-
    11  ities: interactive literacy activities between parents and  their  chil-
    12  dren;  education for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for
    13  their children and full partners in the  education  of  their  children;
    14  parent literacy preparation that leads to economic self-sufficiency; and
    15  an  age-appropriate  education to prepare children for success in school
    16  and life experiences.
    17    (2) "Eligible parent" means an individual  who  is:  (i)  in  parental
    18  relation  to an eligible child, as defined by the commissioner, and (ii)
    19  in need of adult basic education, as defined in this section.
    20    (3) "Eligible child" means a child from birth through age  twelve  who
    21  has one or more eligible parents.
    22    (4)  "Eligible  family" means a family unit which contains one or more
    23  eligible parents and one or more  eligible  children  and  whose  family
    24  income  is  at  or below the poverty level and who resides in an area of
    25  poverty or in an attendance  zone  served  by  a  low-performing  public
    26  school, both as defined by the commissioner.
    27    (5)  "Eligible provider" means a school district or a board of cooper-
    28  ative educational services in partnership with  a  public  agency  or  a
    29  private, nonsectarian not-for-profit agency.
    30    (6) "Authorized expenditures" means those expenses related to instruc-
    31  tion,  assessment, counseling, administration, purchase of instructional
    32  materials, purchase or lease of approved equipment, cost  of  in-service
    33  training for participating instructors and counselors, designed to serve
    34  eligible families and other administrative and program costs as approved
    35  by  the commissioner, or for the statewide evaluation of family literacy
    36  programs.
    37    (7) "Adult education" means services or instruction below the  postse-
    38  condary level for individuals:
    39    (A) who have attained sixteen years of age;
    40    (B)  who  are  not  enrolled  or  required to be enrolled in secondary
    41  school under law; and
    42    (C) who (i) lack sufficient mastery of  basic  educational  skills  to
    43  enable the individuals to function effectively in society;
    44    (ii)  do  not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equiv-
    45  alent, and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or
    46    (iii) are unable to speak, read, or write the English language.
    47    b. Award of grants. (1) Eligible providers shall submit  proposals  to
    48  the commissioner, including program budgets, to fund authorized expendi-
    49  tures  in support of family literacy programs designed to serve eligible
    50  families. Such proposals shall be in a form and shall be submitted on  a
    51  schedule prescribed by the commissioner.
    52    (2)  The commissioner shall adopt regulations to establish eligibility
    53  criteria and procedures for the award of such grants  and  to  otherwise
    54  implement  the  provisions  of this section, provided that a dollar-for-
    55  dollar match shall be required of any  eligible  provider  applying  for
    56  such grants.

        A. 4751                             3
     1    (3)  The  commissioner shall award grants on a competitive basis using
     2  the eligibility criteria established in regulation and  shall  determine
     3  the  amount  of  each  grant award, provided that a statewide evaluation
     4  grant shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars.
     5    c.  Payment  schedule.  Subject  to the availability of funds for such
     6  purpose, upon approval of a proposal by the  commissioner,  the  commis-
     7  sioner shall provide for the advance of twenty-five percent of the grant
     8  amount.  The remaining portion of the grant allocation shall be distrib-
     9  uted according to  a  schedule  prescribed  by  the  commissioner,  upon
    10  submission  by the eligible provider and approval by the commissioner of
    11  progress reports and a final report.
    12    d. Annual report. On or before March fifteenth, two  thousand  twenty-
    13  seven and by March first of each year thereafter, the commissioner shall
    14  submit  to  the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the
    15  speaker of the assembly a report describing and  evaluating  the  family
    16  literacy programs funded pursuant to this section.
    17    § 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2026.
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