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MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
July 30, 2004
(615) 741-2257 (O)
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(615) 308-3705 (C)


GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS ADULT EDUCATION WEEK
State Campaign Emphasizes the Benefits and Timeliness of Pursuing a GED

NASHVILLE - Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed August 1-7 Adult Education Week in Tennessee, it was announced today by the Adult Education Division of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Adult Education Week is an effort started by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to recognize the important role Adult Education plays in the economic stability of Tennessee.

"More individuals are expected to be able to compare and contrast information, to generate ideas based on what they read, and to apply arithmetic operations sequentially to solve a problem," said Phil White, administrator for Adult Education. "On average GED graduates earn $7,000 more per year than those who have not finished high school."

Department Commissioner James Neeley will kick off Adult Education Week in a speech to general educational development (GED) graduates at Blackman High School in Rutherford County August 1 at 3 p.m.

"GED candidates recognize the value of education in today's society," said Neeley. "There are still thousands of Tennesseans who have not tapped into this opportunity to get the GED and improve their lives. In fact, the U.S. Census shows of those Tennesseans age 25 and older, 900,000 do not have their high school diploma."

The Adult Education division of the department is launching a campaign called "GED Now," a plan to communicate with employers across the state to emphasize the need for immediate action in education.

"We know that those without a high school diploma or its equivalent are two times as likely to be unemployed," said White, "so it's important to create that safety net as soon as possible, before you really need it."

Tennessee's Adult Education program is recognized as one of only 23 states to meet or exceed all performance measures set by the federal government. Last year, the State of Tennessee spent $68 per Adult Education student. Together with federal funds, approximately $275 was spent to educate one adult.

Opportunities for continued education are also available to today's GED graduates through the Hope Scholarship, which is funded by proceeds from the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation. Since the inception of the Hope Scholarship, more than 32,000 scholarships have been awarded totaling approximately $99 million.

For more information on Adult Education programs, call 1-800-531-1515 or find information on the Internet at www.gednow.info.

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ANDREW JOHNSON TOWER, 8TH FLOOR
710 JAMES ROBERTSON PARKWAY
NASHVILLE, TN 37243
615.741.2257