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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1H: Adult basic education and literacy services system; grants; objectives

Section 1H. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department, in coordination with other state agencies, shall develop a comprehensive system, subject to appropriation, for the delivery of adult basic education and literacy services that will ensure opportunities leading to universal basic adult literacy and better employment opportunities. Said system shall be designed to strengthen, enhance, and where needed, to create intensive community based literacy programs for AFDC recipients and other unemployed and marginally employed adults who need a foundation of basic skills to qualify for further education, job training and employment. These trainees shall include parents of young children who need strong basic skills to move their families out of poverty and raise the educational aspirations of their children.

Said system shall also include instruction for immigrants, migrants, and refugees who need English language and literacy skills to function effectively at home and in the workplace. Instruction to the aforesaid populations will emphasize instruction at the lowest grade levels.

Said system shall further include instruction for young persons, aged sixteen through twenty-four, who have dropped out of school without sufficient skills to qualify for employment. Instruction shall be designed with emphasis on linking education with vocational training and supported work.

The department shall distribute grants, subject to appropriation, to provide comprehensive literacy services, including support services, in the context of adults' daily lives in their communities, including, but not limited to, public housing, schools, the work place, correctional institutions, community-based organizations, community colleges, libraries, and in social and cultural organizations.

The department shall endeavor to develop the following objectives: (1) a full continuum of services that take an adult from the lowest level of literacy or English language proficiency through high school completion leading to advanced education and training; (2) a network of self-trained, full-time adult literacy and English as a second language professional instructors, qualified to provide high quality effective services; (3) a strong documentation and evaluation capacity that will enable the state to determine what methods of instruction and what means of service delivery are most effective in educating adults; and (4) coordinated accountability mechanisms that simplify existing reporting and refunding processes.

The board of education shall grant certification to teachers of adult education who possess such qualifications as prescribed by said board. The commissioner of education shall have authority to grant, upon application, adult education certificates which shall be valid for five years to teachers of adult education who possess qualifications prescribed by said board. Each education certificate shall be renewable every five years thereafter upon successful completion of an individual professional development plan that meets standards established by said board. Said board shall establish policies and guidelines for approval for fulfilling the professional development requirement. Nothing herein shall be construed to require certification of teachers of adult education. A certificate issued by the commissioner may be revoked for cause pursuant to standards and procedures established by said board. Said board shall have the authority to promulgate, amend and rescind such rules or regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.