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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-462



Availability of Workforce Investment Act, Title II, Section 223 Funds for State Leadership Activities for July 1, 2002--June 30, 2003

[32 Pa.B. 1543]

   These services are designed to strengthen the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) 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.

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

   B.  Eligible applicants include local education agencies (LEAs) 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 a consortium.

   Consistent with the purpose of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act for Program Year 2002-2003, 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.

   Letters of intent are due April 12, 2002, and applications are due May 1, 2002.

   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 April 12, 2002. 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 on-line and submitted via the e-grant website at to the Bureau. Instructions and the application guidelines are available via the Bureau website 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 that support these activities for program year 2002-2003 follow this section.

   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 the 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, childcare and other assistance designed to increase rates of enrollment in, and successful completion of, adult education and literacy activities, to adults enrolled in those activities.

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

   11.  Linkages with postsecondary educational institutions.

Priorities State Leadership 2002-2003

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 for the Bureau, professional development service providers and adult basic and literacy education providers. The project will also include support of on-line and Internet 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 ABLE programs will 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 ABLE 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. Applicants will review the standards and performance indicators set forth by the Pennsylvania Adult Teachers Competencies project 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 Professional Development Center coordinator in the development and implementation of the project.

5.  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.

6.  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.

7.  Work-Based Foundation Skills

   Management of a project to facilitate expanded dissemination and effective use of the Work-Based Foundation Skills Framework across this Commonwealth and agencies in support of the Commonwealth's workforce development initiatives. This project will continue the activities of a project developed and tested from 1999-2002. The project will develop and implement training procedures and products to build the ABLE provider's capacity to understand and implement the Foundation Skills Framework. Activities in this project will be integrated with activities of ABLE coalitions, local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and CareerLink to strengthen communication and system integration. The project will develop and implement targeted Foundation Skill Framework training procedures and products for ABLE programs and work with Professional Development Centers in identifying and training non-Pennsylvania Workforce Improvement Network 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 ABLE Interagency Coordinating Council skill standards work group so that a process and product is developed providing ABLE programs links between occupational skill standards and the foundation skills.

8.  English as a Second Language (ESL) Standards and Competencies

   Using recommendations from the ESL standards and competencies project of 2001-2002, this project will continue the development of the coordinated system of ESL training in support of program quality standards and competencies identified in the 2001-2002 project. Using existing training modules identified in the 2001-2002 project adopted/adapted for this Commonwealth, the project will implement training on sound research-based practices in ESL instruction and align it with the recommended program standards and teacher competencies. Based upon recommendations from the 2001-2002 project, new training may be developed.

9.  Planning for Change

   Provision of a Statewide system of consultants trained to provide individualized technical assistance to ABLE adult education coalitions, building on activities begun in the Planning for Change project funded in 2001-2002. Technical assistant consultants will guide and support adult education coalitions in attaining regional workforce development goals, including increased/improved communication with regional WIBs and CareerLink Centers, and the development, implementation and monitoring of an Adult Education Coalition Workforce Plan. The project applicant should provide services Statewide, be broad-based and participate in the ABLEworks system developed by the Bureau.

10.  Professional Development Institutes

   Purpose: To provide an opportunity for professional development in a specific area of ABLE 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 follow) 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.

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

   Suggested areas for institute format: Corrections Education, Teaching Math and ESL in the Workplace.

11.  Professional Development Center for Learning Differences/Disabilities

   Purpose: To continue the provision of a centralized system of professional development for practitioners serving adults with adult learning differences/disabilities; to serve as an information clearinghouse for research and best practice in teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities; to facilitate coordination of services to individuals with learning differences/disabilities among State and local agencies as provided in Program Years 2000-2001 and 2001-2002.

   Background: Current research indicates that adult basic and literacy education programs are serving significant numbers of individuals who have learning differences/disabilities. According to needs assessments conducted in this Commonwealth, many adult education practitioners feel unprepared for the challenges presented in the teaching of those adults. The Bureau recognizes the need to support adult education practitioners who are teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities in Bureau sponsored programs. The Bureau desires to continue the support of previous activities by providing funds for a ''center'' to continue the efforts of coordinating a uniform and systematic approach to the provision of professional development for practitioners teaching adults with learning differences/disabilities and to the improvement to the quality of services offered to this population of learners.

   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 and deliver 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 existing activities related to the provisions of training and technical assistance for 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.

   *  Develop and implement a system of technical assistance that includes 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 the Commonwealth.

   2.  Serve as an information clearinghouse for research and best practices 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 adults 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 differences/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 and assist in implementing them.

   *  Establish and maintain 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 the Commonwealth's efforts at National and State meetings, workshops and seminars.

12.  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.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-462. Filed for public inspection March 22, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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