Concerns about EL/Civics and changing WIOA Regs

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If you teach citizenship through a federally-funded EL/Civics program, there is trouble on the horizon. Please read this information the Migration Policy Institute (and sign up for the webinar on 9/28).

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in July 2014 after passing Congress with bipartisan majorities, has been applauded for better aligning federally funded job training and adult education programs with the skills sought by American businesses. 

Less visible, however, as implementation of the law has been taking shape in recent months is the fact that WIOA could threaten immigrants’ access to services that focus on citizenship preparation in communities across the United States.

In a 
timely commentary before Thursday’s celebration of National Citizenship Day, Margie McHugh, Director of the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, explains how the Obama administration’s proposed WIOA regulations could threaten such services. By codifying that federal funds earmarked to support English and civics instruction for immigrants must be delivered in combination with workforce training services, the administration is on course to prevent states from using these program funds to serve immigrants (including refugees) who may not need or desire workforce training.

MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy earlier addressed this and other serious shortcomings in the WIOA regulations proposed by the Departments of Labor and Education 
in comments submitted as part of the rulemaking process. And on Monday, September 28 at 3 p.m. EDT, as part of an ongoing effort to help key stakeholders learn more about the law’s implementation, the NCIIP will host a webinar to discuss strategies to overcome WIOA’s barriers to access for low-educated and Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. Learn more about the webinar here.