Adults in Illinois who failed to graduate from high school still can earn a General Educational Development certificate, also known as a G-E-D. But legislation approved by the General Assembly would provide what some consider to be a better alternative.
Students leave high school for a variety of reasons. Some drop out because of family obligations, financial pressures, or lack of motivation. Some are pushed out due to disciplinary problems. Once they reach age 21, their only option is to get a GED, which can limit education and career prospects.
Rep. Joe Sosnowski, a Republican from Rockford, sponsored a bill that would allow non-profits to partner with regional education offices and offer high school completion programs that give out diplomas. Stories from states that already do this persuaded him it would be good for Illinois.
“People get their high school diploma and then they do go on to become working members of society. And that’s the important part, is, you know, one person at a time, making a difference in people’s lives,” he said.
The measure passed both chambers unanimously but has yet to be sent to the governor.
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