Adding Up The Low Costs of Literacy Among Adults

Matthew Burke graduated from high school even though he was reading at about the third-grade level. He got a job as a welder but found his lack of reading skills held him back. Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU

Matthew Burke graduated from high school even though he was reading at about the third-grade level. He got a job as a welder but found his lack of reading skills held him back. Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU

This NPR article from 2013 makes a compelling case statement for funding adult education and literacy programs. The topic is still relevant in 2018. The following is an excerpt from the article:

A ‘Double Expense’

People who struggle to read, write and speak English are sentenced to a lifetime of economic challenges, says Stephen Fuller, an economist with George Mason University in Virginia. He says it’s important to have an educated workforce.

“If we fail, it’s a double expense, ’cause the economy isn’t healthy, and we also have increased social services,” he says.

Fuller says that has enormous costs for society. People with low literacy are more likely to need unemployment checks, food stamps and subsidized housing. And they are more likely to end up behind bars.

To read more, click on this link to Adding Up the Costs. The article, the 4th in a series, leads to three other articles related to adult literacy and the challenges adults face in pursuing their educational and workplace dreams.

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