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Number Of Texans Earning GED Down More Than 40 Percent From 2003

A study by the Center for Public Policy Priorities found just over 21,000 Texans took and passed the GED exam in 2016, compared to more than 36,000 just 13 years earlier.

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.


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The number of Texans taking and passing the GED exam, in order to get the equivalent of a high school diploma, is continuing to fall. That's the finding of a new study by the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Just over 21,000 Texans took and passed the GED test in 2016, the most recent year for which complete data were available. That was down more than 40 percent from 2003.

Chandra Villanueva, co-author of the report, says much of the drop stems from a lack of state funding. "There's a large number of counties in our state that don't even have GED testing centers," she says. "And there's just not a lot of resources, training, and even advertisement to let people know where to go or what they should try to do to get their high school diploma."

GED administrators introduced a newer, tougher version of the exam in 2014. The number of Texans taking and passing the test dropped off sharply that year. That number has recovered somewhat since, but it remains well below where it stood before the change.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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