Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 1.djvu/318

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106 STAT. 286 PUBLIC LAW 102-315—JULY 2, 1992 Public Law 102-315 102d Congress Joint Resolution July 2, 1992 Designating July 2, 1992, as "National Literacy Day". [H.J. Res. 499] s Bj, , jj Whereas literacy is a necessary tool for survival in our society; Whereas forty-two million Americans today read at a level which is less than necessary for full survival needs; Whereas there are thirty million adults in the United States who cannot read, whose resources are left untapped, and who are unable to offer their full contribution to society; Whereas illiteracy is growing rapidly, as two million three hundred thousand persons, including one million two hundred thousand legal and illegal immigrants, one million high school dropouts, and one hiindred thousand refugees, are added to the pool of illiterates annuEdly; Whereas the annual cost of illiteracy to the United States in terms of welfare expenditures, crime, prison expenses, lost revenues, and industrial and military accidents has been estimated at $225,000,000,000; Whereas the competitiveness of the United States is eroded by the presence in the workplace of millions of Americans who are functionally or technologically illiterate; Whereas there is a direct correlation between the number of illiterate adults luiable to perform at the standard necessary for available employment and the money allocated to child welfare and unemployment compensation; Whereas the percentage of ilUterates in proportion to population size is higher for blacks and Hispanics, resulting in increased economic and social discrimination against these minorities; Whereas the prison population represents the single highest concentration of adult illiteracy; Whereas one milhon children in the United States between the ages of twelve and seventeen cannot read above a third grade level, 13 per centum of all seventeen-year-olds are fimctionally illiterate, and 15 per centum of graduates of urban high schools read at less than a sixth grade level; Whereas 85 per centum of the juveniles who appear in criminal court are functionally illiterate; Whereas the 47 per centum illiteracy rate among black youths is expected to increase; Whereas one-half of all heads of households cannot read past the eighth grade level and one-third of all mothers on welfare are functionally illiterate; Whereas the cycle of ilUteracy continues because the children of illiterate parents are often illiterate themselves because of the lack of support they receive from their home environment; Whereas Federal, State, municipal, and private literacy programs have only been able to reach 5 per centum of the total illiterate population; Whereas it is vital to call attention to the problem of illiteracy, to understand the severity of the problem and its detrimental