More Kentuckians are turning to GEDs as a way to prepare themselves for the workforce or transition to college. The number of diplomas awarded rose 10 percent this fiscal year. Not only are more students in the Bluegrass earning GEDs, the pass rate is also increasing. Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, attributes the jump to free testing offered in April, May, and June, along with deeper economic worries.
"The people who have been most dramatically impacted by layoffs in the economy have been people with less education," he says.
King says those workers are quickly discovering the need to continue their education. Still, 15 percent of working-age Kentuckians 18 to 64 lack a high school diploma or GED. Officials hope a series of free GED classes offered through local adult education programs across the state will also help to shrink that number.