20 USC 9252 - National Institute for Literacy

(a) Purpose 
The purpose of this section is to establish a National Institute for Literacy that
(1) provides national leadership regarding literacy;
(2) coordinates literacy services and policy; and
(3) serves as a national resource for adult education and literacy programs by

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(A) providing the best and most current information available, including the work of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the area of phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension, to all recipients of Federal assistance that focuses on reading, including programs under titles I and VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq. and 7401 et seq.), the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), and this Act; and
(B) supporting the creation of new ways to offer services of proven effectiveness.
(b) Establishment 

(1) In general 
There is established the National Institute for Literacy (in this section referred to as the Institute). The Institute shall be administered under the terms of an interagency agreement entered into by the Secretary of Education with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this section referred to as the Interagency Group). The Interagency Group may include in the Institute any research and development center, institute, or clearinghouse established within the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, or the Department of Health and Human Services the purpose of which is determined by the Interagency Group to be related to the purpose of the Institute.
(2) Offices 
The Institute shall have offices separate from the offices of the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services.
(3) Recommendations 
The Interagency Group shall consider the recommendations of the National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board (in this section referred to as the Board) established under subsection (e) of this section in planning the goals of the Institute and in the implementation of any programs to achieve the goals. If the Boards recommendations are not followed, the Interagency Group shall provide a written explanation to the Board concerning actions the Interagency Group takes that are inconsistent with the Boards recommendations, including the reasons for not following the Boards recommendations with respect to the actions. The Board may also request a meeting of the Interagency Group to discuss the Boards recommendations.
(4) Daily operations 
The daily operations of the Institute shall be administered by the Director of the Institute.
(c) Duties 

(1) In general 
In order to provide leadership for the improvement and expansion of the system for delivery of literacy services, the Institute is authorized
(A) to establish a national electronic data base of information that disseminates information to the broadest possible audience within the literacy and basic skills field, and that includes

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(i) effective practices in the provision of literacy and basic skills instruction, including instruction in phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension, and the integration of literacy and basic skills instruction with occupational skills training;
(ii) public and private literacy and basic skills programs, and Federal, State, and local policies, affecting the provision of literacy services at the national, State, and local levels;
(iii) opportunities for technical assistance, meetings, conferences, and other opportunities that lead to the improvement of literacy and basic skills services; and
(iv) a communication network for literacy programs, providers, social service agencies, and students;
(B) to coordinate support for the provision of literacy and basic skills services across Federal agencies and at the State and local levels;
(C) to coordinate the support of reliable and replicable research and development on literacy and basic skills in families and adults across Federal agencies, especially with the Office of Educational Research and Improvement in the Department of Education, and to carry out basic and applied research and development on topics that are not being investigated by other organizations or agencies, such as the special literacy needs of individuals with learning disabilities;
(D) to collect and disseminate information on methods of advancing literacy that show great promise, including phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, fluency, and reading comprehension based on the work of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development;
(E) to provide policy and technical assistance to Federal, State, and local entities for the improvement of policy and programs relating to literacy;
(F) to fund a network of State or regional adult literacy resource centers to assist State and local public and private nonprofit efforts to improve literacy by
(i) encouraging the coordination of literacy services;
(ii) enhancing the capacity of State and local organizations to provide literacy services; and
(iii) serving as a link between the Institute and providers of adult education and literacy activities for the purpose of sharing information, data, research, expertise, and literacy resources;
(G) to coordinate and share information with national organizations and associations that are interested in literacy and workforce investment activities;
(H) to advise Congress and Federal departments and agencies regarding the development of policy with respect to literacy and basic skills; and
(I) to undertake other activities that lead to the improvement of the Nations literacy delivery system and that complement other such efforts being undertaken by public and private agencies and organizations.
(2) Grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements 
The Institute may award grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, individuals, public or private institutions, agencies, organizations, or consortia of such institutions, agencies, or organizations to carry out the activities of the Institute.
(d) Literacy leadership 

(1) In general 
The Institute, in consultation with the Board, may award fellowships, with such stipends and allowances that the Director considers necessary, to outstanding individuals pursuing careers in adult education or literacy in the areas of instruction, management, research, or innovation.
(2) Fellowships 
Fellowships awarded under this subsection shall be used, under the auspices of the Institute, to engage in research, education, training, technical assistance, or other activities to advance the field of adult education or literacy, including the training of volunteer literacy providers at the national, State, or local level.
(3) Interns and volunteers 
The Institute, in consultation with the Board, may award paid and unpaid internships to individuals seeking to assist the Institute in carrying out its mission. Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, the Institute may accept and use voluntary and uncompensated services as the Institute determines necessary.
(e) National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board 

(1) Establishment 

(A) In general 
There shall be a National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board (in this section referred to as the Board), which shall consist of 10 individuals appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(B) Composition 
The Board shall be comprised of individuals who are not otherwise officers or employees of the Federal Government and who are representative of entities such as
(i) literacy organizations and providers of literacy services, including nonprofit providers, providers of English literacy programs and services, social service organizations, and eligible providers receiving assistance under this part;
(ii) businesses that have demonstrated interest in literacy programs;
(iii) literacy students, including literacy students with disabilities;
(iv) experts in the area of literacy research;
(v) State and local governments;
(vi) State Directors of adult education; and
(vii) representatives of employees, including representatives of labor organizations.
(2) Duties 
The Board shall
(A) make recommendations concerning the appointment of the Director and staff of the Institute;
(B) provide independent advice on the operation of the Institute; and
(C) receive reports from the Interagency Group and the Director.
(3) Federal Advisory Committee Act 
Except as otherwise provided, the Board established by this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.).
(4) Appointments 

(A) In general 
Each member of the Board shall be appointed for a term of 3 years, except that the initial terms for members may be 1, 2, or 3 years in order to establish a rotation in which one-third of the members are selected each year. Any such member may be appointed for not more than 2 consecutive terms.
(B) Vacancies 
Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the members predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the expiration of that members term until a successor has taken office.
(5) Quorum 
A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings. Any recommendation of the Board may be passed only by a majority of the Boards members present.
(6) Election of officers 
The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Board shall be elected by the members of the Board. The term of office of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be 2 years.
(7) Meetings 
The Board shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of the members of the Board.
(f) Gifts, bequests, and devises 

(1) In general 
The Institute may accept, administer, and use gifts or donations of services, money, or property, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible.
(2) Rules 
The Board shall establish written rules setting forth the criteria to be used by the Institute in determining whether the acceptance of contributions of services, money, or property whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, would reflect unfavorably upon the ability of the Institute or any employee to carry out the responsibilities of the Institute or employee, or official duties, in a fair and objective manner, or would compromise the integrity or the appearance of the integrity of the Institutes programs or any official involved in those programs.
(g) Mails 
The Board and the Institute may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
(h) Staff 
The Interagency Group, after considering recommendations made by the Board, shall appoint and fix the pay of a Director.
(i) Applicability of certain civil service laws 
The Director and staff of the Institute may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of that title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that an individual so appointed may not receive pay in excess of the annual rate of basic pay payable for level IV of the Executive Schedule.
(j) Experts and consultants 
The Institute may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109 (b) of title 5.
(k) Report 
The Institute shall submit a report biennially to the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate. Each report submitted under this subsection shall include
(1) a comprehensive and detailed description of the Institutes operations, activities, financial condition, and accomplishments in the field of literacy for the period covered by the report;
(2) a description of how plans for the operation of the Institute for the succeeding 2 fiscal years will facilitate achievement of the goals of the Institute and the goals of the literacy programs within the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services; and
(3) any additional minority, or dissenting views submitted by members of the Board.
(l) Funding 
Any amounts appropriated to the Secretary, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or any other department that participates in the Institute for purposes that the Institute is authorized to perform under this section may be provided to the Institute for such purposes.