COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 131

June 30, 2006 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

General Educational Development (GED) Testing Eligibility, effective July 1, 2006

 

Effective July 1, 2006, there will be changes related to eligibility for GED testing based on action by the 2006 General Assembly. The amended section of the Code of Virginia (22.1-254) may be found at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+ful+CHAP0335+pdf. Also, new Regulations Governing General Educational Development Certificates (8 VAC 20-360) became effective on March 15, 2005. These regulations are available at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Instruction/Adult/pdfs/ged_regs_2005.pdf. This memorandum will clarify GED testing eligibility issues related to both of these changes.

 

The eligibility guidelines addressed in this memorandum are confined to the age and residence of GED testing applicants. Applicants must meet all other eligibility guidelines of the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education. All previous superintendents memoranda addressing this issue should be disregarded.

 

AGE:

An applicant must be at least eighteen years of age and not currently enrolled in public education or otherwise meeting the school attendance requirements set forth in section 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia. Under special circumstances the age limit may be lowered to sixteen years for applicants 1) who have been instructed by their parents in their home pursuant to 22.1-254.1 and who have successfully completed such home school instruction; 2) who have been excused from school attendance pursuant to subsection B and C of 22.1-254; 3) for whom an Individual Student Alternative Education Plan (ISAEP) has been granted pursuant to subsection D of 22.1-254; 4) who are housed in adult correctional facilities and who are actively pursuing a GED certificate but who have not been granted an ISAEP pursuant to subsection D of 22.1-254; 5) who have been expelled from school pursuant to 22.1-277.06 through 22.1-277.08; or 6) who are required by court order to participate in the GED testing program. Under no circumstances is an individual under the age of sixteen eligible for testing. A summary of the rules for underage eligibility in categories 1-6 follows:

 

1)  Home Schooled

Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with documentation signed by the superintendent/designee certifying that the applicant has completed an approved home instruction program.

 

Any additional written requirements promulgated by the local school board for applicants in this category shall be binding.

 

2)  Released from Compulsory Attendance

Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with documentation signed by the division superintendent/designee certifying that the applicant has been released from compulsory attendance by the local school board.

 

Emancipated and adjudicated minors are subject to the compulsory attendance law, unless released by the local school board.

 

3)  Alternative Education

Students for whom an ISAEP has been granted may take the GED Tests when the division superintendent/designee provides the GED examiner with the completed GED Options for Selected Students Enrolled in Secondary Schools GED Testing Authorization Form. ISAEP students must achieve a minimum score of 450 on each of the subtests of the Official GED Practice Test before this form may be submitted.


 

4)  Adult Correctional Facility

Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with documentation signed by the Department of Correctional Education that the individual is actively pursuing a GED certificate.

 

5) Expelled from School

Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with documentation signed by the division superintendent/designee certifying that the applicant has been expelled from school.

 

6) Court Ordered

Applicants under eighteen years of age, but at least sixteen years of age, must provide the GED examiner with documentation signed by the judge ordering the applicant to participate in the GED testing program.

 

RESIDENCE:

GED testing candidates are not required to be Virginia residents. However, applicants testing in Virginia must present documentation of their current residence, whether in Virginia or another location.

 

APPLICATION:

An individual must make application prior to testing and provide photograph-bearing identification as defined by the GED Testing Service at registration and at the time of testing.

 

Please direct questions to Robert W. MacGillivray

(Robert.Macgillivray@doe.virginia.gov), GED administrator, Office of Adult Education and Literacy, at (804) 371-2333.

 

 

PIW/RM/gjm