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The Office of Adult Education Initiatives was established to provide support and leadership to the field of adult basic education in Colorado. To that end, AEI administers three funding opportunities: the federally funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant, the state funded Adult Education Literacy Act (AELA) grant of 2014 and the state Workforce Diploma Pilot Program (WDPP) of 2019.
Each grant provides funding and support to local agencies serving adult learners across Colorado. CDE is committed to understanding the needs of our adult learners in Colorado, analyzing needs for services, and determining if there are ways to help fill those gaps as we work with our partner agencies and organizations. We are in a challenging budget and economic situation in the state, so it will be even more important to understand the needs of adult learners given the impacted economy and workforce. As a partner in this work, CDE is committed to working with the entire field of adult education providers to support adult learners. To that end, the office maintains a list of other potential adult education funding sources.
Adult Education and Family Literacy Act
The federally-funded Adult Education and Family Literacy Act was reauthorized as Title ll of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in July 2014. The federal program provides formula funding to state agencies that distribute funds as grants to local adult education programs. Allowable services include adult basic and secondary education and English language acquisition in many contexts: foundational literacy, high school equivalency, family literacy, integrated English literacy and civics education, workforce preparation, workplace education, and integrated education and training.
CDE conducted an AEFLA grant application process from February - June 2020. The current AEFLA grant cycle is from July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2024. The following organizations are current AEFLA grantees:
Asian Pacific Development Center
Colorado Northwestern Community College
Community Educational Outreach
Durango Adult Education Center
Jeffco Schools Adult ESL and Literacy
Mesa County Adult Learning Center
Metropolitan State University Family Literacy Program
Montrose Adult Education Center
Northeastern Junior College
Pikes Peak Library District Adult Education
School District 11 Adult & Family Education
The Learning Source
Trinidad State Junior College Adult Education Services
Adult Education and Literacy Act
The following organizations are current AELA grantees:
- Asian Pacific Development Center
- Colorado Mountain College
- Community College of Aurora
- Community College of Denver
- Durango Adult Education Center
- Emily Griffith Technical College
- Focus Points
- Harrison School District 2
- Mesa County Libraries Adult Learning Center
- Metropolitan State University Family Literacy Program
- Mile High Youth Corps
- Montrose Adult Education Center
- School District 11 Adult & Family Education
- Spring Institute
HB21-1264, the Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills bill, passed in June 2021 gave a one-time additional $5 million in federal American Recovery Plan Act funding to the AELA grant to provide next-level education and training to Colorado unemployed adults disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency for better employment outcomes. Approximately half of the funds will be used to fully fund existing AELA grantees through the current grant cycle that ends June 30, 2025, as there was $1.4 million per year requested by fundable applicants in the most recent grant competition. The other half of the one-time federal funds will be used for an additional cohort of AELA grantees. That grant cycle is expected to be January 2021 - June 2025. The CDE Office of Adult Education Initiatives expects to release an additional Request for Applications utilizing the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Information about the release of the Request for Applications will be shared through the CLICK Listserv. To subscribe, please email AEI@cde.state.co.us.