Quick Facts: Arizona’s Adult Education & GED Testing Vital to State’s Economy & Families

In the great debate over Arizona’s economy and education reform, a necessary program is often overlooked–adult education and GED (General Education Diploma) Testing.
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In 2010, Governor Brewer signed a budget that eliminated the $4.5 million appropriation for Adult Education and GED Testing.  When Arizona eliminated this GED funding, it also lost $11 million in matching funds from the federal government.

The elimination of this program comes at a dire time for our state’s economy.  With the decline in new construction jobs, many from the construction labor force are seeking a  GED to facilitate entrance into college or trade schools for retraining. GED graduates can qualify for higher paying jobs, generating increased tax revenue for the state.

The loss of GED funding also has a major impact on Arizona’s children.  Academic success for parents has a profound effect on the academic success of their children. Last session’s elimination of all-day kindergarten and the possible repeal of First Things First (Prop. 302)the 2006 voter-approved fund for the early childhood development and education for infants and toddlers–are but a few of the obstacles standing in the way of our children being successful students.  Additionally, Move on When Reading–an effort to ensure all third graders are proficient readers by 2013-2014 school year–highlights how vital it is to the success of our children to have adult(s) in the home who are not only proficient readers, but who are also able to foster an environment of learning for overall academic success.  The loss of the GED and Adult Testing Program makes creating that learning environment for children all that more difficult.

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In the coming months, AEN will be posting more information about the Adult Education and GED Testing programs and their benefits to our community.  Adult education is not only essential to our state’s economy, it is an important part of the education continuum in Arizona.
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Here are some quick facts on Arizona’s Adult Education and GED Testing programs as provided by the Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning.
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QUICK FACTS

1. GEDs made up approximately 20% of all high school diplomas issued in Arizona in 2008.  One in five Arizonans has earned a GED.  In 2008/2009 over 14, 500 GEDs were awarded.
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2. Last year, over 43,000 adults were served by Adult Education Programs and GED Testing.
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3. There are approximately 800,000 adults in Arizona without a high school diploma, which makes it difficult to get a living-wage job or vocational training.
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4. Individuals with a high school diploma or GED earn an average of $8,000 more per year than those without a diploma.  This translates into nearly $8 million in tax revenue which goes immediately into Arizona’s general fund.
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For more information on Adult Education and GED Testing, we encourage you to check out these programs/links:
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Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning
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Support Adult Education Arizona
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The Arizona Department of Education–Adult Ed
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