Adult Education and Adult Literacy in the Obama Administration

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The issues of adult education and adult literacy are important issues facing our society. The Obama administration has made statements about its intentions in the area of adult education and adult literacy. However, it is important to remember, first of all, that adult education and adult literacy are not dependant upon government action. These are issues that are primarily sociological in nature, rather than political. Still, here are some of the things that the Obama administration intends to do in the areas of adult education and adult literacy.

Barack Obama made statements during the 2008 presidential campaign that as president he would focus on adult education and adult literacy. His statements suggest that he will help to make higher education more accessible to every American. Exactly how his administration will will do this remains yet to be seen.

One of the areas in which the Obama administration intends to help with the issues with adult education and adult literacy is in the area of educational access. The Obama administration has made statements that it hopes to open up the educational institutions to more adults and to more non-traditional students. The administration intends to do this by insuring that adults of all race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation have access to higher education.

Another way that the Obama administration is attempting to make adult education accessible to more people is by way of the American Opportunity tax credit of 2009. This tax credit will refund approximately three quarters of the cost of university education. This means that an adult who returns to school can apply three quarters of the amount he or she pays for college on his or her tax return.

The administration has stated that it wishes to simplify the application process for financial aid. It intends to make this process simpler by including the application as a check box in the income tax return. There are obvious with this, of course, in that lenders need access to more information than can provided with a simple tax return. Yet, the administration has not yet said how it intends to address this particular side of the issue.

Whether or not these policies will make a difference remains to be seen. In the long run, it is a change of attitude in our culture and in our own lives that will help increase adult literacy and that will encourage adults to pursue adult education. While it is nice to have these extra elements from the government, these aren’t the things that will ultimately make us more educated and literate as a people.


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