Governor drops GED from Illinois law

Jul 21, 2014

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation that will remove all references to the GED from Illinois law. It’s part of a much broader change in the education program for people who didn’t finish high school.

This year the GED more than doubled in price, going from $50 to $120.  It also got a lot harder, based on the new, more rigorous Common Core education standards.

State GED administrator Jennifer Foster, with the Illinois Community College Board, says that’s led to a significant drop in the number of people taking GED tests.

“Whenever you change over a test, there’s always a diminishment in the number of students who take the test. ... So we’re trying to determine whether it’s because of the cost, or is it just because there is a new test and it is more rigorous."

The move to strike “GED" from state law reflects the fact that Illinoisans actually earn what’s called a “High School Equivalency Certificate.” GED is a brand name, and Foster says removing it gives Illinois the flexibility to contract with a different company in the future.