House committee passes Chamber education priorities

Today in the House Education committee three Chamber-supported bills passed. The combination of the three bills would increase the quality of high school graduates moving into either the workforce or higher education.

Career Pathways
The first of the bills that passed was SB 38. The bill will provide career-based programs of study with enriched career counseling for high school students and has the potential to keep more students engaged in school. The bill was amended to include SB 184, a bill to make the high school career and technical system more organized through a consolidation of the state offices responsible and places the office under the Commissioner of Education.

Dropout age
SB 109 to make compulsory school attendance to age 18 a local school board option was amended in committee to lead to a statewide mandate. The amendment requires that once 40% (70) of the state’s districts approve a local compulsory school attendance age to 18, this would trigger a statewide requirement for all districts after a four year transition period. The bill passed committee.

Early high school graduation
SB 86 also passed committee. This bill allows high school juniors to graduate from high school early and continue on to college after meeting strict academic standards. Students would be given a scholarship in addition to KEES to attend a postsecondary institution the following fall after their early graduation. This bill was also amended in committee to include the previously mentioned statewide compulsory school attendance trigger once 40% of schools districts adopt a local mandate.

These bills have the potential of making high school a more successful experience for more Kentucky students, engaging them in their future and encouraging them to pursue postsecondary education. The bills will now move to the full House for a vote and then return to the Senate for final approval.  If your business needs quality employees, contact your representative at 1-800-372-7181 and ask them to vote yes for SB 38, SB 109 and SB 86 as amended to improve the caliber of the workforce through an improved education system.

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