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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 
CONTACT: MILISSA REIERSON
JANUARY 28, 2005
(615) 741-2257 (O)
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(615) 308-3705 (C)

GED TEST FEES TO BE PAID WITH FEDERAL GRANT
STATE PLANS TO INCREASE NUMBER OF GED DIPLOMAS

NASHVILLE — According to the results from recent student focus groups, the GED test fee i s an obstacle for many individuals who have studied and are prepared to pass the exam, but who cannot pay the $50-$65 test fee. Additionally there are many individuals who have not attended an adult education class at all because the test fee is prohibitive.

“It is no coincidence that a 2004 study from the Tennessee Commission on Children & Youth shows more children live in extreme poverty,” said Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development James Neeley. “A direct link can be made between those children and the 20 percent of Tennesseans who have less than a high school education,” Neeley continued. “This is why the Adult Education program is a priority with this administration. Adult education students are a critical part of Tennessee’s workforce. They need and want the GED diploma to increase their earning power by advancing in their current jobs, finding new, better-paying jobs and entering post-secondary education or training.”

Approximately $500,000 will be set aside from federal incentive grant funds to pay for an estimated 7,000 individual GED test fees. Test takers can take advantage of the free test one time only through June 30, 2005. Anyone interested in taking the GED must register with an Adult Education program in his or her area.

“This is an incredible opportunity for individuals who, with minimal preparation, can pass the GED exam. Never before in the history of Adult Education has an administration offered this kind of support and opportunity for those individuals who want to pass the GED exam,” said Phil White, Administrator of the Division of Adult Education. “I strongly encourage those who qualify for this benefit to lose no time in contacting their local Adult Education program to begin this short journey that can change their lives. We are using innovative ways to reach out to all Tennesseans who may be interested in getting a GED. Look for our logo, toll-free phone number and Web site on state vehicles soon.”

For Adult Education programs across the state and more information on the GED test go to www.gednow.info or call 1-800-531-1515.

**Photo of Commissioner Neeley applying GED NOW car magnet available upon request.