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Gov. Beshear announces new virtual opportunities for free GED program

In Education, Local, News, State by OC Monitor StaffLeave a Comment

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman yesterday announced that Kentucky Skills U, an agency in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, will offer new virtual opportunities for the Free GED Program. GED test fees will be waived for eligible first-time test takers by enrolling in one of the Kentucky Skills U programs across the state.

From January through June 2020, 3,565 Kentuckians took advantage of the fee-waiver program to work toward a GED credential. During this time, 1,032 Kentuckians completed their GED.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of Kentucky Skills U local offices in March. These closures, along with the closing of all GED Testing Centers, prohibited aspiring graduates from taking advantage of the Free GED program.

In order to keep Kentuckians safe during a pandemic, both the GED Ready Practice test and the GED test can now be taken online. Students may contact their local Skills U center to find out what services are available remotely through video conferencing and distance learning opportunities to prepare for the tests.

“We are excited to resume the GED fee-waiver program so that more Kentuckians can get a GED diploma,” the Governor said. “When we rolled out the program in January, we had a tremendous response from Kentuckians who wanted to improve their education and increase their opportunities in the workforce. Since then, as with many initiatives, COVID-19 has sidelined the fee-waiver program, so we are making it available again.”

The GED test fee is one of the most common barriers facing adults lacking education in Kentucky. By waiving the test fees for first-time test takers, Kentuckians can save a total of $120 for all four test modules.

“Every Kentuckian has the right to a quality education. As a teacher, I know the difference a high school diploma or GED diploma can make in a person’s life and future. We had a great start at the beginning of the year, but we still have more than 327,000 people who do not have a high school diploma or GED diploma, and the best time to start is now when the fees have been waived,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman, who also serves as secretary of the EWDC.

Kentucky requires the GED Ready Practice test be taken and passed prior to taking a GED subject area test (there are four subject area tests total). The GED Ready Practice test is available at no cost through Kentucky Skills U.

In-person GED tests are available across the state with social distancing measures in effect because of COVID-19. For more information, visit www.KySkillsU.ky.gov and click on “County Contacts” to find a KYSU program near you.

“We know the more barriers we can assist individuals in overcoming, the more likely they are to pursue KY Skills U free adult education services in preparation for passing the GED test,” said Jacqueline Korengel, interim executive director at KY Skills U. “We’re thrilled to offer eligible, first-time test takers free GED testing to defray costs that may pose a barrier.”

Kentucky Skills U is committed to providing academic and essential skills instruction to ensure all Kentucky adults get the education they need. Services are provided to eligible Kentuckians free of charge, including GED preparatory classes, learning the English language, preparation for technical training, essential workplace skills, and corrections education.

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