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Letter: The societal cost of undereducation

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The week of Sept. 23-29 is Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. The usual approach to sharing information about this special week is to tell you about the options for people to improve their educational levels.

This writing, however, is going to highlight the cost that you and I share because there are 36 million adults in the United States who struggle with basic academic skills, according to the National Coalition for Literacy.

When you are in that crowd of people, whether it is at the grocery checkout, sitting in your house of worship, enjoying the latest “must-see-movie,” or shopping at your favorite department store, you may find out that 10 percent of the people around you have a reading level less than fifth grade ability.

The people around who demonstrate low reading ability are costing you $200 billion a year! People who are undereducated look just like you and me, but, because of low reading levels, when their children begin schoo...

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