Monday, January 18, 2010

Should we raise the compulsory school age?

Every session, it seems, state lawmakers entertain a bill proposing to increase the compulsory school age from 16 to 18. And every year the bill is largely ignored. That could be different this year, with the issue already getting unprecedented attention. Two bills have been introduced to do this: House Bills 94 and 140.

In today's Lexington Herald-Leader, a story presents the case for the change. Here are the reasons not do to it:
  • Students wanting to drop out after becoming 17 have more than likely already been failed by the school they are in. So why draw out an already bad situation?
  • Students who would otherwise drop out in the system could make it more difficult for the students who want to be in school to get a good education by becoming distractions in class.
  • Keeping students who would otherwise dropout in schools would divert resources devoted to students who choose to stay in school and would increase the financial burden on the education system at a time when funds are tight.
Like earlier attempts, neither bill has gained any legislative momentum, but this year could turn out to be different.

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