Why Adult Basic Education and VISTA programs matter

Proposed cuts to Adult Basic Education (ABE) and the Corporation for Community and National Service (CNCS), which funds AmeriCorps VISTA, would deeply affect the Minnesota Literacy Council and eliminate programs that help thousands of people. We encourage you to take action by contacting your members of Congress and voicing your support for ABE and CNCS. Below, we've compiled data you can use to make your case.

Adult Basic Education (ABE)

  • The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce projects that 74% of Minnesota jobs will require some postsecondary education by 2020. A skills gap is emerging because there are not enough Minnesotans in the traditional educational pipeline to meet the growing demand for education and skills. Boosting the skills of lower skill adults is critical.
  • 356,032 Minnesota adults lack a high school credential, and 83,869 Minnesota adults do not speak English well or at all. Of these adults:
    • 23% aged 19-24 are unemployed or not in the workforce
    • 40% aged 25-34 are unemployed or not in the workforce
    • 52% aged 35-54 are unemployed or not in the workforce.

          This represents a tremendous loss of human potential for Minnesota. These adults are a key target population for ABE services.

  • The average cost to taxpayers for each high school dropout is $292,000 over their working life, including incarceration costs.
                     SOURCE: Adult Basic Education Impact Report

The Corporation for Community and National Service (CNCS)

  • The elimination of CNCS would have no real impact on overall federal spending; total funding for CNCS is .029 percent, or less than three hundredths of one percent.
  • More than 1,100 faith-based and community organizations nationwide (like Teach For America, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities USA and The American Red Cross) rely on AmeriCorps members to serve children and families as tutors and mentors, respond to natural disasters, and take care of military families in communities large and small.
  • 80,000 people serve in AmeriCorps annually. At a time when the price of college is astronomical and so many Americans need jobs, AmeriCorps helps young people pay for college, prepares them for the workforce and helps the unemployed find work and build skills.
  • 270,000 seniors aged 55 years or older serve in Senior Corps annually. They help the elderly live independently, mentor youth in our rural schools, and manage volunteers after natural disasters.
  • 23,000 veterans serve in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, applying the skills they gained in the military to tackle problems here at home.
  • Rather than costing taxpayers money, national service saves federal dollars. Studies show that national service programs generate a two-to-one return for the taxpayer and a nearly four-to-one return for society in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community-wide benefits. For every $10 in federal money appropriated, another $15 is separately raised from private sources to fund AmeriCorps partnerships across the country.
                     SOURCE: https://voicesforservice.org/news/statement-president-trumps-2018-budget/