Jan 04, 2006 — More adult New Yorkers are "below basic" literacy than the national average. A federal study out this week showed adults in New York had lower levels of literacy in the key areas of reading prose -- for example a newspaper article -- and document literacy -- like filling out job applications. New York does have a high immigrant population, which may account for some of the results. State Education Commissioner Richard Mills announced the state will 'redouble its efforts' in adult and immigrant education programs. The study -- and the commissioner's promise -- comes just as federal funding for adult literacy programs has been cut.
Joe Campbell coordinates the Even Start program in Franklin County. Even Start tutors children and their parents in reading. Campbell says federal funding for the program has dropped from $225 million to $100 million for next September. It's meant he's had to cut staff. He told Gregory Warner the federal funds only allow about a half year of literacy instruction as it is.