Why are there so many online gED programs?
Posted March 25, 2019 09:13:48The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the number of children living in homes with a GED program has jumped from about 7 million to over 9 million since 2000.
The growth in enrollment has been attributed to a combination of improved access to jobs, greater educational opportunities and the rising cost of tuition and other costs for college.
The federal government, which has taken on the GED role, now pays for more than half of the $3.6 trillion it spends on higher education annually.
But a new report by the nonprofit Center for American Progress and The Associated Press finds that in some states, the share of children enrolled in GED programs has actually decreased since 2000 — a trend that has occurred in every region of the country.
The analysis also found that a quarter of GED-certified programs are now offering online learning and that more than a quarter have closed.
In some states — such as Texas and Louisiana — online education has doubled, while in others — like Georgia, North Carolina and Florida — it has remained flat.
In most states, enrollment in GEd programs peaked at around 1.5 million by 2000.
Today, the number is about 1.6 million, according to the Center for Children and Families.
And in states that have cut GED eligibility, the proportion of children in Geds has been declining.
In Texas, for instance, the percentage of children eligible for GEDs has declined by more than 90 percent since 2000, from about 1 in every 1,000 children to about 1 out of every 1.4 million.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research says that while GED enrollments are growing, they are shrinking faster than enrollment in traditional public schools.
The report found that more children are enrolled in online learning programs.
In 2016, online learning enrollment in Georgia grew from 1.2 million to 2.7 million students.
In Georgia, the Ged program now enrolls about 2.5 percent of all children.
The report also found many states have eliminated or restricted the use of public schools and are no longer willing to spend money on traditional education.
The Census Bureau, in a statement, said the agency did not have data to support the conclusions it drew from the analysis.