Superintendent’s Memo #022-16

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

January 29, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Transmittal of “Statement of Administrative Impact and Projected Costs of Implementation” for the Promulgation of Permanent Amendments to the Regulations Governing Adult High School Programs and Repeal of the Regulations Governing the General Achievement Diploma

As part of its responsibility for promulgating new regulations or revisions to existing regulations, pursuant to §22.1-17 of the Code of Virginia, the Board of Education (Board) is required to develop a statement of the administrative impact and projected cost to school divisions related to implementing and complying with such regulations.  In addition, the Board and the Department of Education are required to send a copy of the statement to each division superintendent.

On April 23, 2015, the Board approved the permanent amendments to revise the Regulations Governing Adult High School Programs (8 VAC 20-30) and to repeal the Regulations Governing the General Achievement Diploma (8 VAC 20-680).  The amendments were necessary to comport with legislative changes made by HB 1061 and SB 489 (2012).

The legislation eliminated the General Achievement Diploma (GAD) by folding it into the Adult High School Diploma, which was renamed the General Achievement Adult High School Diploma (GAAHSD).  The legislation also added a requirement that adult students must earn a Board of Education-approved career and technical education credential, such as the successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia workplace readiness skills assessment in order to be awarded the adult high school diploma.

These regulations have completed the final executive review process and were signed by the Governor on December 17, 2015.  They were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on January 11, 2016, and will become effective on February 10, 2016.


It is anticipated that there will be little or no administrative costs related to the consolidation of diplomas.  However, to the extent that school divisions must provide additional services to meet the new career and technical education requirement, there could be a local fiscal impact.  Because any impact will depend on the current services offered in each division, the Department is not able to determine any fiscal impact at this time.
The requirements for the GAAHSD can be found at the following address:

If you have any questions, please contact Beverly Godwin, specialist for adult secondary programs and ISAEP, Office of Adult Education and Literacy, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 786-7644.