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The Issue
| Caucus Members | Join | Caucus Activities

House Adult Literacy Caucus

The House Adult Literacy Caucus aims to bring attention to the adult literacy issue and promote local, national, and global adult literacy initiatives. The caucus calls attention to the connections between adult literacy and national priorities like economics and health.

“As we continue to try to get our nation’s economy back on track, the need for educating and training adults who have been out of school for years will become more and more important to adapt to changing workforce demands.  I am hopeful that through the Adult Literacy Caucus we will be able to give voice in Congress to those who need additional help and education,” said Congressman Roe.

The Issue

For millions of adults nationwide, improving basic literacy skills is the key to a bright and successful future. Literacy transforms lives, breaking cycles of illiteracy, poverty, and social injustice.

According to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 93 million adults in the U.S. do not have the literacy skills needed to reach their full potential. Thirty million of those individuals have such low levels of literacy that it significantly impedes their ability to fully function at home, at work, and in their communities. 11 million cannot communicate in English. About 3 million (only 3% of those in need) can access services in the U.S.

Many live in poverty, lack a high school diploma, and struggle to find and retain living wage jobs. Children of parents with lower literacy levels start school at a disadvantage. This inequality can continue well into a child’s education and into their later years.

Nearly half of the adults in our great nation have difficulty understanding and using health information, impeding their ability to make appropriate health decisions and increasing the likelihood that they will incur higher health care costs.

Additionally, nearly 800 million adults worldwide are illiterate in their native languages; two thirds of these are women.

Caucus Members


Phil Roe (TN), Sponsor and Co-Chair, Diane Black (TN), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY), Jim Gerlach (PA), Richard Hanna (NY), Todd Russell Platts (PA), Dennis Ross (FL), Edward  Whitfield (KY), Joe Wilson (SC)


Rubén Hinojosa (TX), Co-Chair, Jason Altmire (PA), Leonard Boswell (IA), Gerry Connolly (VA), Elijah Cummings (MD), Lloyd Doggert (TX), Donna Edwards (MD), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Hank Johnson (GA), Edward Markey (MA), Gregory Meeks (NY), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), John Olver (MA), Bill Owens (NY), David Price (NC), Jared Polis (CO), C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (MD), John Sarbanes (MD), Paul Tonko (NY), Chris Van Hollen (MD), John Yarmuth (KY)


House Members can join the House Adult Literacy Caucus by contacting Tiffany McGuffee (Roe) at or Rosa Garcia (Hinojosa) at
For reference, here is a copy of the Dear Colleague Letter.

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