(a) The State Superintendent of Schools has authority to establish in the state Department of Education a Division of Technical and Adult Education Services, and to provide for suitable coordination and supervision of the educational programs established in sections nineteen-a and nineteen-b of this article. All programs established under those sections are under rules of the state Board of Education.
(b) The Legislature finds that:
(1) The General Educational Development (GED) exam is an implement for success that can transform the future of a graduate;
(2) For an individual who has not attained a high school diploma, achieving a High School Equivalency Diploma can increase employment opportunities and earning potential;
(3) Individuals who will benefit from a High School Equivalency Diploma often lack the credentials necessary for employment, and therefore lack the resources to afford the costs of the GED exam; and
(4) Many individuals for whom the GED exam is unattainable are likely to remain in a state of poverty.
(c) The state board shall develop and administer a program to provide the GED exam fee for an eligible individual pursuing a High School Equivalency Diploma. The state board shall promulgate a rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the program.
(1) The rule shall provide for eligibility requirements as follows:
(A) Successful completion of a GED preparation program;
(B) Successful completion of the GED Official Practice Test;
(C) Standards for measuring successful completion of the program and test required by this subdivision;
(D) GED exam registration with a GED testing center that is approved by the state board; and
(E) Any other requirements established by the state board.
(2) The state board shall provide the GED exam fee directly to the GED testing center.