Bonnie Truhn

Bonnie Truhn

Representative Adam Zemke

Representative Adam Zemke

Michigan residents will now have the opportunity to receive financial assistance to take the graduate equivalency degree (GED) examination through funding included in the FY2014-15 state budget.

House Bill 5313, the omnibus budget bill that funds general government operations, included up to $500,000 in funding for the Michigan GED-to-School program, which Rep. Adam Zemke proposed in a House Appropriations subcommittee and again when the budget first came to the House floor.

“Many people don’t realize that it’s very expensive to take the GED test in Michigan, and how hard it can be for some low-income residents to improve their standing,” Zemke said. “Helping people get to a better situation in life will have positive effects in our communities and throughout the state.”

The program was born out of a conversation between Rep.Zemke and WCC manager of the Adult Transition’s GED Plus program, Bonnie Truhn, who expressed her concern over the financial burden some students incur when taking the exam.

“This program will help Michigan residents of all ages further their personal and professional goals by breaking the cost-prohibitive barrier to GED attainment,” said Jason Morgan, WCC director of government relations. “Completion of the GED test is an essential job requirement, and we are so pleased that the legislature recognized this important need.”

The GED-to-School program creates a pool of funding to help people pay for GED testing and be able to move on to whatever form of higher education they choose.

“I’m proud that this program could be included in the budget, and I thank my colleagues for seeing the value in it,” Zemke said. “Education plays such a big role in an individual’s lifetime success, and with the GED-to-School program, Michigan residents who lack income and education can lift themselves up and improve their lives.”