Literacy Needs in Texas paragraph divider

One in three adults cannot read this sentence. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003). Texas has the highest school dropout rate (with Florida) of the study of states’ literacy and one of the nation's highest illiteracy rates (33 percent).

Literacy programs in Texas are only serving 3.6% of the 3.8 million in need of adult basic education services for residents without a high school diploma (Texas LEARNS, April 2005).

Texas ranks 47 out 50 states, in terms of English literacy levels. (U.S. Department of Education).

Texas has 6.5 million residents who speak a language other than English at home, almost double the national percentage, composing 38.6% of the Texas population. (Texas LEARNS, 2005) Texas is first among states in the percentage of the population who do not speak English in the home.

3 million American adults, or 45% of the adult population, have limited reading, writing, and math skills. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003).

The percentage of adults age 25 or older who reported having read a novel, short story, play, or poem in the past 12 months d ecreased between 1982 and 2002. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2005)

85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)

People with low functional health literacy are less likely to understand written and oral information given by physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and insurers. (Center for Health Care Strategies,

Illiteracy and crime are closely related. The Department of Justice states, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” Over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level. (

The health care industry estimates $73 billion per year of unnecessary health care expenses attributable to poor literacy. (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Statistics, 2004)


Jacksonville Literacy Council
215 Commerce, Suite 215-A
Jacksonville, TX 75766
Tel (903) 586-6125
Fax (903) 284-6995

Program Director:
Nancy Sonntag