New Illinois law will let adults earn high school diplomas

Photo courtesy of Rauner Press Office

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a new Illinois law that will let adults earn high school diplomas instead of general-education certificates.

Rauner signed the amendment to the Illinois School Code on Friday at Goodwill of Northern Illinois in Rockford. It will allow those over age 21 who didn't finish high school to receive a high school diploma through certified programs.

“Illinoisans of every age should have access to quality educational programs that give them a second chance at life,” Gov. Rauner said. “This legislation will open doors of opportunity for adult learners who want to achieve better careers and higher wages, and it will also help address the large educational disparity in minority communities.”

Rauner's office says diplomas are more advantageous than GED certificates because they give adults "better skills for postsecondary education and the workplace."

Rauner's office says about 1 million Illinois residents don't have a high school diploma or general-education certificate. The new law also will allow for the creation of adult diploma programs run by community colleges or eligible nonprofit groups, such as Goodwill.

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