A couple of weeks ago the National Skills Coalition released a report, “Disinvesting in the Skills of America’s Workforce,” which examined the potential impact of sequestration on key federal employment and training programs. The report estimates that Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs would serve 66,000 fewer learners if sequestration cuts go forward, as now required by law. Unlike the NEA numbers published earlier this year, NSC included not just the loss of federal dollars but also a proportional cut from required state matching funds. It includes a table that shows the impact on a state-by-state basis (click on the table to read the entire report):
NSC used a different methodology to calculate their estimates than the one used by the NEA for the tables they published a few months ago. The NSC’s estimate of 66,185 adult learners losing services is considerably lower than the NEA’s worst-case estimate, which was north of 200,000.
Either estimate likely understates the actual impact of sequestration on adult education because they do not include the impact of cuts to other non-defense discretionary programs that support adult education other than WIA Title II, such as Community Development Block Grants, community service programs, USCIS, and other programs. (Understandably—it would be challenging to come up with impact estimates across all of those other programs since they do not exclusively fund adult education programs.)