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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-863


Availability of Workforce Investment Act, Title II, Section 223 Funds for State Leadership Activities

[31 Pa.B. 2591]

   These services are designed to strengthen the adult literacy and basic education programs operated by the Department of Education (Department), Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (Bureau) by providing Statewide support for leadership activities in Title II of the Workforce Investment Act described in the Unified State Plan 1999-2005.

I.  Authorization

   A.  Title II of The Workforce Investment Act of 1998, The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, provides funds to local eligible provider agencies through the Department for the establishment of adult education and family literacy programs that will:

   1.  Assist adults to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and self-sufficiency;

   2.  Assist adults who are parents to obtain the educational skills necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children; and

   3.  Assist adults in the completion of a secondary school education.

   B.  Eligible applicants include local education agencies (LEA) and public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations and institutions. A for-profit agency is eligible to participate in the program only if it is part of a consortium with an LEA or other eligible sponsor, with the nonprofit agency acting as fiscal agent. A for-profit organization must also have the capability and capacity to augment significantly the adult education services of such a consortium.

   Consistent with the purpose of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act for Program Year 2001-2002, the Department will give primary consideration to programs for the educationally disadvantaged.

   The Federal share of a grant will be 75% of the total cost of the program. The applicant must provide 25% match of the total cost of the program. The local match may be in kind. Other Federal funds may not be used for the local match unless specifically identified as eligible for use as matching funds.

   C.  Restrictions placed upon the Department by the United States Department of Education on the administration of the grant include:

   1.  Not more than 12.5% of the State's allotment shall be used for State Leadership activities.

   2.  Not more than 5% of a local applicant's grant may be used for administrative costs, unless a higher percent is approved in advance by the Bureau.

   Letter of Intent due: June 1, 2001

   Application due: June 22, 2001

   Note:  The Bureau reserves the right to consider proposals received after the deadlines, and if appropriate, to approve them if and when funds become available.

II.  Application Procedures and Program Guidelines

   A Letter of Intent is due at the Bureau by June 1, 2001. The Letter of Intent should state the priority number and a one-sentence description of the proposed project. Applications for State Leadership funds must be completed online and submitted via the e-grant website at to the Bureau. Instructions and the application guidelines are available via the Bureau's site at and via the e-grant sites. Faxes will not be accepted.

III.  Funds for State Leadership activities are made available under section 222(a)(2) for one or more of the following activities. Specific priorities supporting these activities for Program Year 2001-2002 are included in this announcement:

   1.  The establishment or operation of professional development programs to improve the quality of instruction provided under local activities required under section 231(b);

   2.  The provision of technical assistance to eligible providers of adult education and literacy activities;

   3.  The provision of technology assistance, including staff training, to eligible providers of adult education and literacy activities to enable the eligible providers to improve the quality of such activities;

   4.  The support of State or regional networks of literacy resource centers;

   5.  The monitoring and evaluation of the quality of, and improvement in, adult education and literacy activities;

   6.  Incentives for program coordination and integration, and performance awards;

   7.  Developing and disseminating curricula;

   8.  Other activities of Statewide significance that promote the purpose of this title;

   9.  Coordination with existing support services, such as transportation, child care and other assistance designed to increase rates of enrollment in, and successful completion of, adult education and literacy activities, to adults enrolled in such activities;

   10.  Integration of literacy instruction and occupational skill training and promoting linkages with employers; and

   11.  Linkages with postsecondary educational institutions.

   Priorities State Leadership 2001-2002

   1.  Communications for Professional Development (Axis)

   Management of a project to provide for the design and/or publication of newsletters, reports, handbooks and brochures as needed by adult education providers in this Commonwealth. The project will direct and provide systematic communication and coordination between the Bureau and professional development service providers and adult basic and literacy education providers. The project will also include support for on-line and Internet web communications.

   2.  Adult Education Newsletter

   Provision of a general adult basic education newsletter to be published a minimum of six times at a length of eight pages or more to disseminate information in areas of interest to adult basic education practitioners and program supporters in this Commonwealth. The areas may include, but are not limited to, professional development, program areas such as GED, ABE, ESL, Workplace and Family Literacy, and include adult education theory, best practices and awareness information. Applicant must establish an editorial review board and plan for a circulation of approximately 4,000 copies across this Commonwealth with distribution as requested by the Department.

   3.  Outstanding Adult Learners

   Management of an event that includes the identification, selection and recognition of ten exemplary adult learners enrolled in adult basic and literacy education programs whose success stories focus on the role of adult basic education in their lives. Approximately 2,000 copies of a Success Stories booklet featuring both past and current winners and their Bureau programs should be prepared, published and disseminated as requested by the Department. Promotional fliers featuring Success Stories students will be prepared and disseminated to winners' program providers. Applicant will coordinate with an identified Bureau staff person in the development of the project.

   4.  Outstanding Adult Practitioners

   Management of an event to identify, select and honor outstanding adult education practitioners in this Commonwealth whose interaction with adult learners, colleagues and their programs is indicative of best practices in adult teaching and learning. Applicant will review the standards and performance indicators set forth by the Pennsylvania Adult Teachers Competencies project in order to use those criteria for the selection of excellent educators and instructors in keeping with their recommendations for expert practitioners. The applicant will coordinate with an identified Bureau staff person, a Project EQUAL representative and a PDC coordinator in the development and implementation of the project.

   5.  Implementation and Development of Core Area Training

   Centralized management of a project to develop and implement training in defined core content areas Statewide to adult basic and literacy education administrators and practitioners. The applicant will develop and deliver core topics that include:

   *  Elements of effective teaching, adult learning theory and practice and assessment practices as preservice training.

   *  Change training compatible with EQUAL training: program planning, collaboration and action planning for program improvement as in-service training.

   *  GED 2002 test: adapt/adopt material to prepare learners for the new test as in-service.

   *  Data analysis: using data for program improvement.

   *  Workforce Development Basics, providing baseline information on workforce activities including Workforce Investment Boards, workforce planning, workforce priorities and information on adult education workforce ''tools'' for adult educators.

   Applicant will coordinate the review and selection of training materials and methods in such designated core content areas and work with lead trainers and module authors to revise or refine existing modules as necessary and appropriate and to customize ''advanced'' trainings. Applicant will refine modules and/or training pieces from the existing menu of professional development modules developed in previous training development projects and train new trainers and monitor and support existing trainers via training sessions, meetings, field observations and telephone and electronic contact. The applicant will also prepare modules for online delivery where appropriate. The applicant will include an evaluation component to evaluate the modules, trainers, trainer training and support system to determine the impact of the core training. Applicant will work closely with the staff of Bureau and the regional professional development centers.

   6.  Review and Dissemination of Exemplary Projects

   Management of a project to review current and past section 353 and State Leadership special demonstration/experimental and professional development projects from this Commonwealth and from other states in designated topic areas to determine their significance and appropriateness for adoption/adaptation in this Commonwealth. The project should identify exemplary and innovative practices/approaches and provide for the Statewide dissemination of information through publication of the reviewed projects via a newsletter to be published a minimum of six times a year.

   7.  Support of Adult Education Professional Development

   Administration, fiscal management and support of Statewide adult basic education professional development activities and other Department activities to include provision for support of State Leadership requirements and initiatives under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, support of various adult basic and literacy conference activities, support of Act 42 Council activities and provision of honoraria for presenters at State-sponsored activities.

   8.  Professional Development Institute for Learning Differences/Disabilities

   Purpose:  To continue the provision of a centralized training system for practitioners serving adults with learning differences/disabilities; to serve as an information clearinghouse for research and best practice in teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities; to facilitate the coordination of services to individuals with learning differences/disabilities among State and local agencies begun in Program Year 2000-2001.

   Background:  Current research indicates that adult basic and literacy education programs are serving significant numbers of individuals who have learning differences/disabilities. Needs assessments conducted in this Commonwealth indicate that many adult education practitioners feel unprepared for the challenges presented by many of those adults. The Bureau has recognized the need to support adult education practitioners who are teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities in Bureau sponsored programs. The Bureau desires to continue support of current activities by funding an ''institute'' or ''center'' that will continue the efforts to coordinate a uniform and systematic approach to providing professional development for practitioners teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities and improving the quality of services offered to this set of learners begun in Program Year 2000-2001.

   Application Requirements:

   The applicant must describe how it will address the following program elements.

   1.  Provide a centralized training and technical assistance system to support Commonwealth practitioners working with individuals with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Develop uniform training products and processes to address the needs of Commonwealth adult education practitioners in the areas of learning differences that reflect state-of-the-art research and development efforts.

   *  Coordinate all existing activities related to the provision of training and technical assistance of practitioners teaching individuals with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Develop and implement a train-the-trainer system, consistent with current adult education train-the-trainer efforts, to certify and credential trainers qualified to deliver established training systems.

   *  Develop and implement a system of technical assistance, including identification of best practices and peer networking.

   *  Coordinate the delivery of training with the Pennsylvania Adult Education Professional Development System, including its Professional Development Centers, State Literacy Resource Center and Tutors for Literacy in this Commonwealth.

   2.  Serve as an information clearinghouse for research and best practice in teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Maintain expertise in the areas of adults with learning differences/disabilities for the purpose of identifying emerging best practices and research.

   *  Disseminate relevant and timely information related to special accommodations, research based instructional planning, screening and identification, legal issues and other information related to serving individuals with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Coordinate information collection and dissemination with the State Adult Literacy Resource Center.

   3.  Facilitate the coordination of services to individuals with learning disabilities among State and local agencies.

   *  Facilitate the leveraging of resources among State and local entities for the purpose of providing comprehensive services to individuals with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Identify other State and local models of interagency coordination for individuals with learning differences/disabilities.

   *  Establish a working relationship with entities that serve individuals with learning differences/disabilities for the purpose of exchanging information and establishing interagency initiatives.

   *  Maintain a presence by representing this Commonwealth's efforts at National and State meetings, workshops and seminars.

   9.  Assessment in Adult Education Programs

   Conduct a project to research the adult education assessment practices in Bureau-funded programs. Provide research findings and recommendations to guide the development and delivery of training and technical assistance around program assessment practices linking them to instructional practices and that support implementation of the Bureau program performance standards, Bureau assessment policy and the National Reporting System. Provide findings to inform training on use of specific Bureau approved standardized tests.

   10.  Administrator Competencies

   Management of a project to adapt/adopt administrator/management competencies that are currently developed Nationally for use in this Commonwealth's adult education programs. Project should research existing competencies, determine their appropriateness for adult education agencies in this Commonwealth, field test the competencies with administrators and develop a user's manual.

   11.  Planning for Change

   Management of a project to support adult education community-based planning sites through field-driven mentoring, outreach, training and technical assistance that continue activities begun in the Planning for Change project funded in the 2000-2001 program year. The project will maintain the current Planning for Change structure, which has designated technical assistance consultants across this Commonwealth. The project applicant should be a Statewide organization with broad-based membership and collaborate with the professional development centers and other Statewide initiatives such as PA WIN, the Work-Based Foundation Skills and Workplace Essential Skills projects to increase the capacity of adult education coalitions in meeting the needs of their communities.

   12.  Work-Based Foundation Skills

   Management of a project to facilitate expanded dissemination and effective use of the Work-Based Foundation Skills Framework across Commonwealth agencies in support of this Commonwealth's workforce development initiatives. This project will continue the activities of a project developed and tested from 1999-2001. The project will develop and implement training procedures and products to build the Bureau provider's capacity to understand and implement the Foundation Skills Framework. Activities in this project will be integrated with activities of Bureau coalitions, Planning for Change communities, local WIBs and CareerLinks to strengthen communication and system integration. The project will develop and implement targeted Foundation Skill Framework training procedures and products for Bureau programs and work with Professional Development Centers in identifying and training non-PA WIN affiliates in the use of the framework as well as in disseminating the Foundation Skills Framework throughout the workforce investment system. The project will continue and further refine the foundation skills framework link to occupational skill standards, working collaboratively with the Bureau ICC skill standards work group so that a process and product is developed providing Bureau programs links between the occupational skill standards and the foundation skills.

   13.  Professional Development Institutes

   Purpose:  To provide an opportunity for professional development in a specific area of adult basic and literacy education in an intensive format.

   Background:  The Bureau has supported the professional development of practitioners and administrators through the institute format for several years. The format allows for the consistency in the delivery of information and methodologies in a specific area and at varying levels of expertise. It also builds the collegiality of participants through shared experiences and encourages ongoing professional development after the institute has ended. The activities offered through the institute and follow up trainings are guided by the Guiding Principles for Professional Development of Adult Education Practitioners.

Program Goals:

   1.  Administrative and fiscal management and support of a project for Statewide adult basic education professional development through the provision of a professional development institute (topics listed) to include the arrangements for physical accommodations for administrators, teachers, counselors and volunteers in adult basic education programs;

   2.  Delivery of information to participants that is relevant to the topic, research-based and representative of best practices that is provided by subject matter experts;

   3.  Development of strands on the institute topic for new and experienced practitioners;

   4.  Provision of follow-up training through the regional professional development centers and/or other activities; and

   5.  Evaluation of the design and effectiveness of the training.

Corrections Education; Equipped for the Future; Teaching Math

   14.  English Literacy/Civics Training

   This project will convene a group of ESL specialists for the purpose of designing a coordinated system of ESL training that includes program quality standards and corresponding training. The project will review available National and State ESL standards including work completed by TESOL, California, New York and other states, and recommend one set of standards for Commonwealth adoption/adaptation. The project will review existing ESL training materials available Nationally and organize ESL training offerings to meet the needs of beginning, intermediate and advanced ESL teachers. Training must be based on sound research-based practices in ESL instruction and align with the recommended program standards. Existing training materials should be used to the maximum extent possible. The project will identify a timeline for adoption of quality standards and training that includes pilot testing and training of trainers that may extend beyond the first year of the project.

   15.  Mini-Grants

   These grants may be used to support State Leadership activities at the local level. For example, a mini grant can be used to complement Statewide initiatives that impact at the local level such as implementing adult learner competencies into an agency's program, determining the impact of instructional programs on adult learners or to assist an agency in integrating adult basic education and workforce development activities in the local area. Funds should not be used for direct instructional time but for time to research, design, plan and support the activities needed to carry out the goals of the project. Grants may not exceed $5,000.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-863. Filed for public inspection May 18, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]

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