Lobbying for Literacy

State Advocacy 2013The National Council of State Directors of Adult Education recently released the results of a survey on the use of paid lobbyists for adult education  at the state level.

Eight states reported using paid lobbyists. In all of those states, lobbyists are funded by the state adult education professional association. In six of those states, they work for those associations directly. In the other two states, the associations pay for lobbying services by contributing to coalitions that were organized to advocate for a broader range of education and human service programs.

I suspect the actual number of broad-based coalitions that at least do some advocacy that’s at least relevant to adult education funding or policy is actually a bit larger—even if they don’t do it directly. This survey was apparently focused on direct lobbying for adult education. But most statewide coalitions that advocate for funding for human services or education probably at least nominally include adult education as one of those services. It may be that those coalitions are not actively engaging policymakers on the issue of adult education, and/or may not really be working with adult education advocates in the state to integrate the need for adult education into their talking points. Raising the profile of adult education within these kinds of broad advocacy coalitions is a subject worthy of further discussion, I think.