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Charging more for GED bad for all

Apr. 20, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The public has a stake in the success of every high school student.

Those who graduate have better job prospects and a chance to pursue the technical and college degrees typically needed to earn a living wage. With some hard work and a little luck, they will become productive citizens who contribute to society.

Those who lack an education not only face a more difficult future for themselves, but too often they drain public resources through tax-supported assistance, health care costs and a range of other social problems.

So, states across the country are mounting massive efforts to keep teens in school and to help dropouts get back on the education track.

Unfortunately, that job gets a little tougher next year with plans to double the cost of the General Education Development exam, which has been the go-to tool for high school equivalency testing.

With a new version of the test, the cost of each exam is expected to double to $120 and no longer be available in a pencil and paper format, The Associated Press reported recently. GED officials say the higher price is needed to update the exam to the higher standards now common across the country.

But that additional cost will be a huge obstacle for the students paying for their own test and a potential budget buster for the various programs that try to help students with the cost of the test.

Understandably, many states are now shopping around for another test or another approach.

Now is not the time to make gaining high school certification more difficult.

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