An estimated 882,000, or 30%, of adults in Chicago have low basic literacy skills and would benefit from adult literacy and/or adult basic education services.* This overwhelming statistic translates into large societal costs:

  • Individuals with low literacy skills have health care costs four times higher than those with proficient literacy skills.
  • Public assistance costs for individuals with only a high school diploma or no diploma are 14% and 45% higher, respectively, than for individuals with some post-secondary education.
  • Taxpayer costs increase due to recidivism among the individuals who return from prison to Chicago each year. Improved literacy has been shown to be directly correlated to lower rates of recidivism.
  • Children of parents with low literacy skills who not receive intensive academic intervention in pre-kindergarten are 60% more likely to require costly special and remedial education, 2.3 times more than regular education.

* Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Department of Economics and Finance, APC #508 FY 2011 Demographic Data.