VIEWPOINT: Delawareans deserve a second chance at earning a high school diploma

VIEWPOINT: Delawareans deserve a second chance at earning a high school diploma  Delaware Business Times

VIEWPOINT: Delawareans deserve a second chance at earning a high school diploma

VIEWPOINT: Delawareans deserve a second chance at earning a high school diploma

State Senator Darius J. Brown Discusses the Importance of Adult Basic Education Programs

State Senator Darius Brown discusses the need to fund adult basic education programs for individuals to earn a high school diploma.

State Senator Darius J. Brown


Governor John Carney and his administration deserve credit for eliminating some of the biggest hurdles that have prevented Delawareans from obtaining gainful employment in our state government.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  1. Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  2. Goal 4: Quality Education
  3. Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
  4. Goal 1: No Poverty

Eliminating Degree Requirements for Employment

For those who missed the news, the Delaware Department of Human Resources recently announced it would no longer require a bachelor’s degree as a mandatory condition of employment for more than 350 family service positions across the First State.

Diversifying the Workforce

As Delaware’s unemployment rate continues to fall, building a more inclusive pathway to state employment that offers equal weight to skills and work experience will help us diversify our workforce and more rapidly fill positions critical to the public good.

Private Industry’s Shift

Private industry is also dropping the bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite for employment as today’s tight labor market pushes companies to increasingly prioritize skills over degrees.

The Importance of a High School Diploma

Earning those skills still requires an education. And a high school diploma is perhaps more important than ever for helping our neighbors take advantage of the job opportunities and economic prosperity available to them.

Ensuring Educational Attainment for All

As elected leaders in Delaware, we still have more work to do to ensure all Delawareans are able to meet this basic level of educational attainment. That means doing more to keep our young people in school and offering second chances to adults who never completed high school.

The Need for Adult Basic Education Programs

Nearly 3,500 Delaware students dropped out of high school from 2018 to 2022. While that number represents roughly 2% of the state’s entire high school student body during that time period, that’s still a population the size of Lewes who are now attempting to navigate life without a high school diploma.

The Adult Basic Education Task Force

That’s exactly why I formed the Adult Basic Education Task Force last year to find ways that we can better support adults in search of the skills training and education they missed as teens regardless of whether they are seeking an apprenticeship in the trades or trying to earn a GED or certification while they are imprisoned.

Available Options for Adult Learners

The good news is there are several options already available to adults seeking a second chance at an education.

  • Adult Delawareans seeking a diploma can attend night school through the James H. Groves Adult High School program available at six schools located across Delaware, plus a seventh all-virtual option.
  • Delaware students also can earn a high school equivalency diploma by passing an exam offered at one of eight testing centers. While the exam costs $120, free GED prep classes are available to help students pass their GED tests.
  • Adult learners are also able to enroll in


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