© 2024 WMKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kentucky officials celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

Office of Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman

Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman kicked off Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on Monday in Frankfort. Educators from all over the country join with legislators, adult learners, business leaders, and more to discuss the successes over the past year regarding adult education.

Coleman said that for decades it was legal in Kentucky to drop out of high school at age 16. Coleman said that is no longer the case, but for those who do not graduate, it can be difficult to navigate life without a GED or high school diploma.

“You are two times as likely to be unemployed, you are three times as likely to live in poverty, you are four times as likely to have poor health, and here’s the real kicker, you are eight times more likely to be incarcerated,” Coleman said.

Coleman added there have been some positive trends in the Commonwealth, the past year has seen many people testing for their GED.

“Our numbers showed that it is the fourth highest year ever for GED test-takers in Kentucky. These are probably older folks, and they’re folks that looked and realized now that they have an opportunity that they feel like they haven’t had before, which is exactly what we’re looking for,” Coleman said.

The Lt. Governor pinned the high number of GED test-takers on the removal of testing fees. Coleman said they would like to help adult learners beyond their GED, as well.

“There is a push for us to increase education and training across the board in Kentucky. Whether that is a GED, whether that’s a credential, an apprenticeship, a two-year degree, a four-year degree, whatever that looks like, whatever that next step on the ladder looks like for you, we want to make sure we are helping Kentuckians get there and we are removing those barriers that exist already,” Coleman said.

Coleman and the Beshear administration have been pushing for universal pre-k in the Commonwealth. Officials said doing so will help children get a strong early education. Coleman pointed out that one of the metrics officials use to predict the future prison population is third grade reading proficiency. Officials added that universal pre-k would help address some childcare issues by giving parents more time to pursue a degree and certification of their own.