Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the state will pay for thousands of Kentuckians to take the GED, a group of four tests that serve as an alternative to the high school diploma.
The battery of tests normally costs $120 and the state’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet has set aside $600,000 in an effort to eliminate financial barriers for would-be test takers.
Beshear said that if there is more demand from test takers, “we’ll find the money.”
“Lifting up our citizens, our friends, our neighbors that may have fallen through the cracks, that need another opportunity, is of critical importance to this administration,” Beshear said. “If we are going to thrive as a state we have to have multiple opportunities for our citizens to achieve.”
There are 335,000 Kentuckians over age 18 who don’t have a GED or high school diploma, according to state officials. About 5,000 test takers will be covered by the initial effort.
The announcement comes after a sharp drop in GEDs granted in Kentucky following a new, more expensive online-only version of the test released in 2014.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, who also serves as the state’s Education and Workforce Development secretary, said the new administration wants to create new career pathways for Kentuckians.
“There is no greater way to positively change a person’s economic situation than to lift their level of education,” Coleman said.
Those interested in taking the GED can go to kyskillsu.gov or text MYGED to 74700.