Advocate for Adult Education

Advocacy

Houston Center for Literacy advocates and rasises awareness for public policies that strengthen the literacy landscape in our city, across Texas, and nationally. We work collaboratively with providers and coalitons in order to develop a system where state agencies, publicy funded programs, and community-based organizations create a network of literacy and adult basic education services.

84th Legislative Session

Thanks to the support and time of adult education stakeholders across Texas, we've made some amazing headway this legislative session. Members of the business community, learners, workforce development professionals, and adult education providers attended Houston Center for Literacy's community forums this fall to prepare for the session. Over 60 stakeholders attended Adult Education Advocacy Day in February to continue building a statewide voice for this issue. What we've heard loud and clear across the state is that the adult education system is running at the bare minimum. In order to do more, it needs more funding.

Now, Texans who care about adult education have an opportunity to secure additional state funding thanks to strong, bipartisan leadership at the Capitol.  

Following his work as co-chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Education Policy for a Skilled Workforce, Representative Jim Murphy (R-Houston) has taken action to increase state funding for adult education in Texas. Along with his colleague, Representative Sylvester Turner (D-Houston), they have filed a rider to the Texas Workforce Commission budget to increase funding for adult education by $20 million over the next two years. 

Update, April 30, 2015

The Murphy/ Turner rider was included in House budget, Article XI.

A companion rider was filed in the Texas Senate by Senators Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). It was not included in workgroup recommendations for inclusion in the Senate budget, so it did not pass.

Differences between the House and Senate budgets are being resolved now by a Budget Conference Committee, which is closed to the public.

Call to Action

Many thanks to those of you who have already called the Capitol to voice your support this session. We're now down to the final window of opportunity and it's time to call again. For the bipartisan proposal for increased funding for adult education to stand any chance of moving forward, all of the conference committee members need to hear loud support from across the state. Please take a moment to call them.

Budget Conference Committee Members:

House of Representatives

Rep. Trent Ashby - Lufkin
512-463-0508

Rep. Sarah Davis - West University Place
512-463-0389

Rep. Larry Gonzales - Round Rock
512-463-0670

Rep. John Otto - Dayton
512-463-0670

Rep. Sylvester Turner - Houston
512-463-0554

Senate

Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa - McAllen
512-463-0120

Sen. Joan Huffman - Houston
512-463-0117

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst - Brenham
512-463-0118

Sen. Jane Nelson - Flower Mound
512-463-0112

Sen. Charles Schwertner - Georgetown
512-463-0105

Suggested script:

"Hi this is ___. I'm calling regarding a rider in the state budget requesting an increase in adult education funding. Who could I talk to about that?

(if they hand you off to someone else, give your intro again)

We hope we can count on (name of official) to ensure that the funding Rep. Jim Murphy and Rep. Sylvester Turner requested to expand adult education services makes it out of Article XI and into the budget. Even a portion of the $20 million requested will make a big difference in ensuring that we're strengthening the Texas workforce. Thank you for your time!"

Stay tuned for updates by email. Sign up to receive our legislative updates or reach out with any questions by emailing news@houliteracy.org. Many thanks for your time and support!