News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Angus King (I-ME), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Max Baucus (D-MT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution recognizing the week of September 23rd, 2013 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy week.

“I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan resolution that recognizes the importance of adult education and literacy programs,” said Senator Patty Murray. “As we continue working to create jobs and get our economy back on track, we need to make sure that our students and workers have the education and literacy skills they need to succeed in school, in their careers, and in life—and adult education and family literacy programs are an important part of helping us achieve this goal.”

It is estimated that 90 million adults in America lack the literacy, numeracy, or English language skills to succeed at home and in the workplace, a tremendous disadvantage in the increasingly competitive 21st century economy. The role of adult education and family literacy is also critical to children whose lives become more stable and successful as the level of their parent’s education increases. The nation’s unemployment rate is highest among individuals without a high school diploma or an equivalent credential, indicating that education is key to economic recovery.

The full text of the Resolution follows:

Designating the week of September 23 through 29, 2013, as ‘‘National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week’’.

Whereas the National Assessment of Adult Literacy reports that 90,000,000 adults lack the literacy, numeracy, or English-language skills necessary to succeed at home, in the workplace, and in society;

Whereas the literacy of the people of the United States is essential for the economic and societal well-being of the United States;

Whereas the United States reaps the economic benefits of individuals who improve their literacy, numeracy, and English-language skills;

Whereas literacy and educational skills are necessary for individuals to fully benefit from the range of opportunities available in the United States;

Whereas the economy and position of the United States in the world marketplace depend on having a literate, skilled population;

Whereas the unemployment rate in the United States is highest among those without a high school diploma or an equivalent credential, demonstrating that education is important to economic recovery;

Whereas the educational skills of a child’s parents and the practice of reading to a child have a direct impact on the educational success of the child;

Whereas parental involvement in a child’s education is a key predictor of a child’s success, and the level of parental involvement in a child’s education increases as the educational level of the parent increases;

Whereas parents who participate in family literacy programs become more involved in their children’s education and gain the tools necessary to obtain a job or find better employment;

Whereas, as a result of family literacy programs, the lives of children become more stable, and their success in the classroom and in future endeavors becomes more likely;

Whereas adults need to be part of a long-term solution to the educational challenges of the United States;

Whereas many older people in the United States lack the reading, math, or English skills necessary to read a prescription and follow medical instructions, which endangers their lives and the lives of their loved ones;

Whereas many individuals who are unemployed, underemployed, or receive public assistance lack the literacy skills necessary to obtain and keep a job to provide for their families, to continue their education, or to participate in job training programs;

Whereas many high school dropouts do not have the literacy skills necessary to complete their education, transition to postsecondary education or career and technical training, or obtain a job;

Whereas a large portion of individuals in prison have low educational skills, and prisoners without educational skills are more likely to return to prison once released;

Whereas many immigrants in the United States do not have the literacy skills necessary to succeed in the United States; and

Whereas National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week highlights the need to ensure each and every citizen has the literacy skills necessary to succeed at home, at work, and in society:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate— (1) designates the week of September 23 through 29, 2013, as ‘‘National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week’’ to raise public awareness about the importance of adult education, work force skills, and family literacy; (2) encourages people across the United States to support programs to assist those in need of adult education, workforce skills, and family literacy programs;  (3) recognizes the importance of adult education, workforce skills, and family literacy programs; and (4) calls upon public, private, and nonprofit entities to support increased access to adult education and family literacy programs to ensure a literate society.