In TX, Goodwill Influences Adult Diploma Legislation from Start to Finish

Austin Capitol BuildingThanks in part to the efforts of Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) recently signed into law three bills that will benefit adult learners in the state.

While the agency worked hard to move all the legislation through, it proposed and had a hand in crafting SB 1142, which enables adults over the age of 26 to earn a high school diploma as an alternative option to a general educational development (GED) certificate.

For more than a year, the Goodwill has been developing a plan to advocate on behalf of its adult education participants. The agency saw a need for adults to have this opportunity. The agency worked through the regulatory process, then the legislative process and then with the governor’s office to ensure the lawmakers understood how it would impact Texans.

Because the legislation ultimately impacts the Goodwill’s participants, engaging them in advocacy was key to helping lawmakers put a face on the issue. At times, participants would accompany staff members to legislative meetings, and in other cases, Goodwill staff would share their participants’ stories to drive the point home.

Thanks to the passing of the legislation, the Goodwill can expand upon its adult education initiatives. It will add the high school diploma option to its Good Careers Academy offerings and has made it through the first round of the charter school application process.