Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Increasing age to drop out raises issues

This from H-L:

Supporters of legislation that would raise the school dropout age are trying to tamp down concerns that the bill would cause unfunded mandates and lead to more students cruising to "completion" rather than graduation.

Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear was among those who testified Tuesday before the House Education Committee on behalf of House Bill 301. The latest version of that bill would raise the high school dropout age from 16 to 17 starting with the graduating class of 2017 and to 18 for those in the class of 2018 and beyond....

Among the key issues raised during the hearing were questions about funding. The bill doesn't call for any new money to pay for programs that would engage students who would have otherwise dropped out. The Department of Education currently awards $750,000 in grants for such programs.

"I think you're going to need more than $750,000 to deal with this," Rep. Harry Moberly, D-Richmond, told the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg...

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