Law and Policy
Adult education programs must adhere to a variety of laws and regulations. The federal laws are passed and amended by the United States Congress. The federal statutes that are significant to administering adult education programs are the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title II, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
Title II of the WIA is the law that directly governs adult education programs. Title II of the WIA is referred to as the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act. The WIA is in the process of being reauthorized by Congress.
The American Disabilities Act (ADA) is contained in the manual because the act requires any program receiving federal financial assistance to provide equal opportunity in their services. Overall, administrators must consider program accessibility, non-discrimination/equal opportunity, the use of auxiliary aids and services, and how to make academic adjustments or accommodations for adult learners with disabilities under the ADA. Another federal statute, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), is designed to protect the privacy of a student’s education records and, thus, it impacts the regulations of information in adult education programs. The last federal statute included in the manual is the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is the largest and most encompassing education law in the nation. There are several implications of ESEA on adult education programs.
The U.S. Department of Education has regulations that the agency must follow, which are referred to as Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). Besides the U.S. Department of Education rules, each public program that receives federal financial assistance must abide by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulatory guidelines. The circulars of regulatory information relevant to adult education programs are included in the manual.
Once the federal laws and regulations are covered, the adult education programs have to abide state laws. Consequently, Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code passed by the state legislature is incorporated into the manual, along with the Texas Administrative Code that was created and amended by the State Board of Education. All the other legal issues that pertain to administering adult education programs are included as well as the eligibility/assessment policy.
This section covers the entire legal realm of adult education and should be used as guide for direction on legal and policy issues.