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Defunct literacy council money goes to Kent, Sussex programs

From: Town Square Live!

Money allotted to a defunct literacy council has been going to to family literacy programs at three Delaware high schools, via the Delaware Department of Education.

The issue of where $278,000 listed in state budgets was going came up in Tuesday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee.

The committee’s staff said that the cash continued to be allotted to the Interagency Council on Adult Literacy, which hasn’t met since June 2015.

The committee asked the staff to pursue what was happening to the money designated for the council, also known as ICAL.

The Sunset Committee reviews state board, councils and commissions to make sure they are needed. If they are, the committee considers how to improve or support them.

“The purpose of the ICAL monies was to fund the two-family literacy programs in the state – Polytech Family Literacy and Sussex Tech Family Literacy,” said Alison May, spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Education. “Each year these programs have used this money to support these family literacy services.”

The Polytech and Sussex Tech programs are valuable resources for English Language Learner families in Kent and Sussex counties she said.

The results are documented in the Adult Education Annual Reports, which she provided.

The reports say ICAL, and some federal funding is being used for programs that are designed to improve literacy levels of young children by providing instruction to parents. The programs combine adult basic education, parenting education, early childhood development activities for children and interactive literacy programs.

Classes are taught in schools, libraries and public housing authorities.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the reports say, Polytech High School and Sussex Tech High School used the literacy money.

In 2020, Polytech, Sussex Tech and Christina High School are listed under the literacy funding, with Polytech and Sussex Tech receiving the ICAL money and Christina receiving federal Dual Generation funding.

In 2021, three family literacy programs are listed. Again, Polytech and Sussex Tech received ICAL money and Christina got federal funding.