Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 465

Public Act No. 08-163

AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN ADULT LITERACY BOARD.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) As used in sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Board" means the Adult Literacy Leadership Board established pursuant to section 2 of this act;

(2) "Commission" means the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission;

(3) "Adult literacy programs" and "adult literacy services" means services established pursuant to Title II of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1988, P. L. 105-220, as from time to time amended, that are aimed at improving the ability of persons sixteen years of age or over who are not enrolled in secondary school to read, write and speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society;

(4) "Adult education" means a program established pursuant to sections 10-67, 10-69 to 10-71a, inclusive, and 10-73a to 10-73c, inclusive, of the general statutes;

(5) "Vision statement" means a written projected overview of the state's adult literacy programs and services at a specified future date; and

(6) "Mission statement" means a written declaration of the purpose of the state's adult literacy programs and services, including elements that address the goals of helping adults develop the reading, critical thinking, problem solving skills and communication skills they need to be self-sufficient, active citizens, effective parents and qualified, competitive workers.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall establish the Adult Literacy Leadership Board as a standing committee of the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission to review and advise the commission on workforce investment and adult literacy programs and services. The board shall consist of seven voting members and ten ex-officio nonvoting members.

(1) The voting members shall include one member who; (A) directs a community literacy program; (B) directs a regional literacy program; (C) represents a public library; (D) directs a literacy outcome study from a private university; (E) directs a literacy outcome study from a public university; (F) represents an adult literacy advocacy group; and (G) has experience in research, planning and evaluation in literacy. The Governor shall appoint the chairperson, who shall be a voting member and described in this subdivision. Following the appointment of the chairperson, such chairperson, in consultation with the director of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, shall appoint the remaining six voting members as described in this subdivision.

(2) The ex-officio nonvoting members shall consist of the following members, or their designees: The Commissioners of Correction, Education, Higher Education, Economic and Community Development and Social Services, the Labor Commissioner, the director of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the chancellor of the regional community-technical colleges and the State Librarian.

(3) The voting members shall serve for a term of four years.

(b) The chairperson of the board may create positions that the board deems necessary and may fill such positions from among its members. The powers of the board shall be vested in and exercised by not less than four members of the board. Four members of the board shall constitute a quorum.

(c) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness may solicit and receive funds on behalf of the board and the commission from any public or private sources to carry out its activities.

(d) The board shall terminate as a standing committee of the commission on July 1, 2012.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) The Adult Literacy Leadership Board shall:

(1) Create vision and mission statements by January 1, 2009;

(2) Develop and update a three-year strategic plan, in accordance with section 4 of this act;

(3) Report recommendations annually through the commission to the Governor and General Assembly, in accordance with section 6 of this act, for sources and levels of funding to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan under section 4 of this act;

(4) Establish results-based accountability measures for the adult literacy system and use them to track progress toward the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan;

(5) With state-agency partners, develop and maintain an online centralized inventory of all adult literacy programs and services offered in the state that includes a description of the type of service, the time and place it is offered and any eligibility requirements or fees;

(6) Establish standards for adult literacy service providers, including requirements for waiting lists;

(7) Require each adult literacy service provider in the state to maintain a waiting list and report the information to the board, in accordance with standards the board establishes;

(8) Promote coordination and collaboration of delivery of adult literacy programs and services through regionalized service delivery and community partnerships;

(9) Prepare information on the status of adult literacy in this state for inclusion in the commission's annual report card, in accordance with section 31-3bb of the general statutes and section 5 of this act; and

(10) Pilot the best practices which are identified through the research and analysis of adult literacy programs state-wide.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) (a) On or before July 1, 2009, the board shall develop a three-year strategic plan for an adult literacy system in this state.

(b) The strategic plan shall: (1) Be consistent with and guided by the planning requirements of Title I and Title II of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1988, P. L. 105-220, as from time to time amended; (2) integrate adult education and literacy with workforce training, establishing a comprehensive approach to adult workforce education in this state; (3) include goals for an adult literacy system, including a goal of reducing by a certain percentage each year over a specified period of time the number of adults in this state who lack a high school diploma or proficiency in the English language; (4) define the roles of all adult literacy service providers in the state, examining in particular, (A) governance responsibility for adult education, (B) discrepancies in service delivery and ways to promote regionalized service delivery and community partnerships, and (C) resources for system-wide administration, management, research and coordination; (5) include priorities for services that (A) improve the quality of instruction, (B) improve access and retention, and (C) identify target populations for services; (6) include an analysis of funding requirements of all adult literacy services, identifying (A) estimated resources needed to implement the plan's goals, (B) current sources of funding and possibilities for reallocation, and (C) potential alternatives and new sources of funding; and (7) outline funding policies that provide (A) financial support and incentives to support collaborative delivery of services, and (B) adequate resources for state-funded agencies with adult literacy responsibilities, including public libraries, to carry out data collection, analysis, evaluation and research related to program effectiveness and best practices.

(c) The board shall designate regional planning workgroups under the aegis of the regional workforce development boards consisting of representatives of adult literacy service providers and persons receiving adult literacy services to assist in developing and reviewing the strategic plan for adult literacy. The board shall review annually the implementation of the strategic plan and make any necessary revisions. The board shall update the strategic plan every three years.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) The Connecticut Employment and Training Commission's annual report card, prepared pursuant to section 31-3bb of the general statutes and subdivision (9) of section 3 of this act, shall provide information on the status of adult literacy in the state. The commission's annual report card shall identify each major component of the adult literacy system, including, but not limited to, adult education, family literacy and workplace literacy, and provide for each component: (1) The number and demographics of persons served, (2) a description of sources of funding, and (3) performance measures for adult literacy services.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) On or before January 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the Governor and to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to the judiciary, education, higher education, economic and community development, labor and human services on (1) the board's progress in developing and implementing the strategic plan, (2) the board's recommendations for sources and levels of funding to meet the goals outlined in the strategic plan, and (3) the adult literacy section of the commission's annual report card prepared pursuant to subdivision (9) of section 3 of this act.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2008) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness, in accordance with subsection (c) of section 4-124w of the general statutes, may request other state agencies, including, but not limited to, the Departments of Education, Higher Education, Economic and Community Development and Social Services, the Labor Department, and the Board of Trustees of the Community-Technical Colleges to provide information, reports and other assistance to the board in carrying out its duties, pursuant to sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act, and to the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission in carrying out its duties pursuant to section 5 of this act.

Approved June 12, 2008