Kayla Sikora, left, director of Augusta Adult and Community Education, and Shirley Wright, executive director of Maine Adult Education Association. Submitted photo

Kayla Sikora, director of Augusta Adult and Community Education and Shirley Wright, executive director of Maine Adult Education Association, presented at the 131st Legislative Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs on Feb. 1.

They discussed the importance of Maine adult education programming, and provided the information below to Sen. Joseph Rafferty and Rep. Michael Brennan, co-chairs of the committee and committee members.

Maine Adult Education Programs, of which there are 70 across the state, are committed to meeting the educational, training and life-long learning needs of Maine’s adults by offering excellently designed, cost-effective academic, workforce training and enrichment classes across the state of Maine, according to a news release from Sikora.

Adult education programs are equipped to do the following:

• Design, implement, monitor individualized learning plans;

• provide basic literacy;


• offer classes for English language learning;

• teach digital literacy (in partnership with the National Digital Equity Center);

• offer high school completion (HiSET or high school diploma);

• support and academic training to prepare for success in post-secondary education and training; and

• provide certificate programs that are cost effective (lower priced than other entities) for many high need sectors including CNA, CRMA, CDL and EMT.

Sikora and Wright gave an overview of the areas lacking in adult education, like funding, and request that full funding be restored to adult education. Programs lose a percentage of their calculated subsidy reimbursement because there are not enough state dollars to pay the full amount.


According to the Barbara Bush Foundation, roughly 54 percent of Americans earn and do less than they could and should because they simply can’t read at a basic level. One in five adults struggles to read basic sentences.

They said they were honored to attend this orientation for the Education Committee and left them with this thought — Adult education is the bridge to obtaining a high school credential and then making the journey to training and education beyond high school a successful one for many of Maine’s adults who lack the necessary academic and or personal skills to make that happen. Adequate and sustained funding will be needed for programs to be able to meet the needs of Maine’s learners and to help them all succeed.



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