In the News: Illinois lawmakers advance bill that could help Rockford establish an Excel Center for high school dropouts

Rep. Joe Sosnowski is the chief sponsor of the bill, which could help alleviate Rockford's 'GED crisis'


By Isaac Guerrero
Rockford Register Star

ROCKFORD — Lawmakers are considering a bill that could help the Rockford region provide a high school diploma to more than 40,000 adults in Boone and Winnebago counties.

State law prevents school districts from awarding high school diplomas to students who are 21 or older. Adult learners instead have the option of earning an equivalency certificate, such as the General Equivalency Development diploma. Although more than 700 adults in Boone and Winnebago counties earn a GED diploma each year, hundreds more young adults in the region drop out of high school every year.

Illinois House Bill 2527, introduced by state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, would effectively eliminate the high school diploma age cap. If approved, the legislation would allow a nonprofit agency, in partnership with the state Board of Education, to establish a school for adult learners that would issue high school diplomas and additional vocational credentials so that graduates have a certified job skill upon graduation…

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