PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee, Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) today announced RIDE has funded 19 providers to deliver high quality Adult Education programming, representing a nearly $7 million in total annual investment of state and federal funds for Fiscal Year 2023.
"With the workforce and its requirements rapidly shifting, it is more important than ever for Rhode Islanders to continue to develop their skills and expand their educational and employment opportunities," said Governor Dan McKee. "Through the historic Fiscal Year 2023 budget, my Administration has increased investment in Adult Education for the first time in over a decade. Together, we will equip Rhode Islanders with the resources and tools they need to gain skills and credentials for college and career readiness and reach their goals."
"Through these investments in Adult Education, we hope Rhode Islanders are reminded it is never too late to invest in yourself," said Chair of the Council on Elementary and Secondary Education Patti DiCenso. "I am deeply thankful for our partners, who have committed to changing the lives of our adult learners."
This year's Request for Proposals (RFP) for Adult Education providers was the first since 2018. This competition identified providers to partner with RIDE for the next five program years, from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027. The 19 grantees include 15 individual organizations:
- Blackstone Valley Community Action Program
- Community Care Alliance/Project LEARN
- Comprehensive Community Action Program
- Cranston Adult Education Programs
- East Bay Community Action Program
- Education Exchange
- Newport Community School/Aquidneck Island Adult Learning Center
- Pawtucket Adult Education
- Progreso Latino
- Rhode Island Regional Adult Learning/Mentor, Inc.
- Rhode Island Institute for Labor Studies and Research
- Providence Public Library/Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative
- Tri-County Community Action Agency
- Westbay Community Action, Inc.
Four collaborations between multiple organizations were also funded as consortia:
- Community College of Rhode Island, in partnership with Rhode Island Department of Corrections
- Crossroads Rhode Island, in partnership with Amos House
- Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, in partnership with Center for Southeast Asians and Scalibrini Dukcevich Center
- Genesis Center, in partnership with New Bridges for Haitian Success and Refugee Dream Center
Grantees deliver virtual and in-person services in approximately 13 cities and towns across the state. Adult Education and literacy activities – including GED, workforce training, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) – support Rhode Island adults in gaining skills and credentials for college and career, engaged citizenship, and family and community leadership.
"This robust Adult Education network is key to ensuring an inclusive and equitable recovery for the state's workforce post-pandemic," said Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green. "We must continue to tear down barriers and remind Rhode Islanders it is never too late to learn. I look forward to hearing more success stories and building a stronger Rhode Island thanks to Adult Education."
In addition to the nearly $7 million in annual grant funding, Rhode Island's Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes a $540,000 increase in General Revenue funding for Adult Education, as well as a $5 million investment from the State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SFRF) program, part of the American Rescue Plan, to be disbursed over three Fiscal Years. Of these funds, $2 million is allocated to Fiscal Year 2022-2023. These funds will bolster the statewide network of Adult Education providers who – like other educational systems – made the abrupt and unexpected pivot to distance education at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who have continued to adapt to changing conditions in order to ensure high quality services for adult learners.
Additionally, through a separate competition, RIDE has selected the Providence Public Library/Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative as the lead Professional Development entity for the state's Adult Education network. The library will work closely with RIDE to further develop a cohesive system for professional learning to support quality, standards-aligned instruction and adoption of effective practices statewide.
To learn more about RIDE-funded Adult Education programs across the state and to pre-register for Adult Education, ESOL, Job Skills Training, High School Certificate/GED, and Citizenship classes, visit EnrollRI.org/adulted.
To learn more about Adult Education in Rhode Island, please visit: https://www.ride.ri.gov/StudentsFamilies/EducationPrograms/AdultEducationGED.aspx.