In accordance with HF 658, the Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund an allocation of $1,257,000 has been established for English as a second language learners associated with the Iowa Adult Education and Literacy programs. This application will also serve to award the additional ESL funds ($500,000) allocated by HF 758 for the purpose of expanding and serving the needs of participants on waiting list or for expanding sites or services, such as Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education.
These funds will be distributed as grants to community colleges for the purpose of adult basic education programs for students requiring instruction in English as a second language. The priority of the funding is to provide adults of limited English proficiency (LEP) with access to English literacy programs to help them become full participants in American life and to be successful as workers, parents, family members, and citizens. The intensity, duration, and delivery of instruction should enable learners to achieve progress in the award year as demonstrated through advancement of educational functioning levels and goal achievement.
Additional priorities include:
- Preparing learners to advance to other educational opportunities that will place them on track to transition to adult basic education, earn credentials, gain or retain employment, or enroll in a postsecondary education or training program; and
- Serving areas with significant unmet needs such as those areas that:
- have experienced significant growth in the number of LEP adults;
- have a large concentration of adults in unserved or underserved language groups; or
- have limited accessibility to nontraditional class schedules and locations.
The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), Division of Community Colleges, administers the ESL State grant. The Adult Education team provides leadership and oversight to Adult Education and Literacy programs and services in Iowa.
Eligible applicants must submit by June 21, 2019, 5:00pm, a complete application in order to be considered for funding. The application criteria are included in the ESL State Grant Packet.
The Instructions for each of the components describes how to fill out the form. Within each section are criteria that describe the intent and content to be included in the narrative. These criteria will also be used by the reviewers to assess and score each narrative component. Out of a possible 300 points, an applicant must receive 210 points to be funded. This is intended to fulfill the requirement of HF 658, "The Department of Education is directed to establish an application process and criteria to award grants pursuant to this subparagraph to community colleges. The criteria shall be based on need for instruction in English as a second language in the region served by each Community College as determined by factors including data from the latest federal decennial census and outreach efforts to determine regional needs."
Submissions from eligible applicants will be reviewed for completeness, adherence to grant guidelines, content development, and overall quality. A review committee will score each application and make funding recommendations. A summary report of the review will be available to eligible applicants. Final funding decisions will be made by IDOE staff based on the review committee's recommendations.