That’s All Folks!

It’s been a long time since I was working the adult education policy beat, and this site hasn’t been updated in years. And likely it never will be again. Perhaps the archives here will be of use to someone, so the site remains. But let this be the official announcement for what has been apparent for some time now: we’re all done here. Site is closed.

Sadly, the lack of understanding, empathy, and respect that too many policymakers have for the people who participate in adult education; and the same goal-post shifting, confusion, and short-sightedness that plagued adult education policy back when this site was active are clearly still with us today. Might even be worse. Perhaps some of the material here will be useful background for people working to improve adult education policy today, and in the future.

New Report Traces the Decline of the GED in Texas

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has just issued a report, “The Texas GED Problem Is Getting Worse,” which traces the steady decline in the number of Texans attempting to pass the GED  over the last five years.

Some news coverage here:

Wisconsin Governor Concerned That People Who Need Money for Food May Not Be Sufficiently Humiliated

One day I guarantee they will propose drug testing all WIOA participants, too.

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has finalized a rule that would require able-bodied adult recipients of food stamps to be screened and possibly tested for drugs.

The move is the latest step in the ongoing battle over whether such testing is legal under federal law.

Walker has framed the issue as addressing the state’s worker shortage and as a continuation of the state’s landmark welfare reform efforts begun in the 1990s under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Employers have jobs available, but they need skilled workers who can pass a drug test,” Walker said in a statement. “This rule change means people battling substance use disorders will be able to get the help they need to get healthy, and get back into the workforce.” (my emphasis)

Walker has already implemented worker training requirements for FoodShare program participants. Since April 2015, able-bodied adults ages 18-49 have been required to participate in a worker training program or work at least 80 hours per month to maintain eligibility for Foodshare.

It all makes sense, since why else would you be out of work unless you were on drugs?

For more on Walker’s policies, see the second of the three rights covered here.

(Yes, it’s been a long time since a post. I’m not making any predictions this time about posting here with any kind of regularity, as my other commitments must take precedent these days. But this news caught my attention and was too long to tweet.)

There’s Something at Stake for Adult Education and Training in the Republican Medicaid Proposal

Just wanted to alert folks that the Medicaid changes in the Republican health care bill H.R. 1628 – The American Health Care Act of 2017), which is scheduled for a vote in the House today, would let states impose a work requirement as a condition of Medicaid coverage. Robert Greenstein of CBPP notes that this might put low-income people in the position of having to choose between education and Medicaid  health coverage. Add of course, a state choosing to impose such requirements would have no obligation to provide training for these individuals:

The revised bill also would let any state impose work requirements on poor adults who aren’t elderly, disabled, or pregnant as a condition of Medicaid coverage — with only narrow exemptions.  Those affected could include a young adult who’s attending community college to gain skills he or she needs to succeed in the marketplace, a married mother who’s caring for an infant, or an adult who’s caring for an infirm or disabled parent rather than institutionalize the parent.  Work requirements also could be imposed on poor individuals who need treatment — for mental health issues or substance abuse — to get or hold a job.  And, states imposing work requirements wouldn’t have to provide job training or other employment services.  The requirement wouldn’t likely mean that many more people would find jobs; instead, its main effect would likely be to leave more people who are poor and vulnerable uninsured. (my emphasis)