In a meeting of the House Education Committee today, HB 224, which would gradually raise the drop out age to 18, passed the committee 24-2. This is the fifth straight session that a measure similar to this has made it to the House.
HB 224 (Greer) would raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16-18 by 2018, a measure strongly supported by Gov. Beshear and First Lady Jane Beshear.
This is a positive development and we encourage legislators to work together on this issue to send a message to all Kentucky students that dropping out is not an option. This bill joins SB 97 (Givens) and SB 99 (Higdon) in attempting to keep more students in school. It is estimated that approximately 6,000 students drop out of school each year in Kentucky, impacting not only those individuals’ lifetime earning abilities, but the educated workforce from which businesses can hire employees. Nationally, the average unemployment rate of a high school dropout is 13.1 percent, more than three times the 4.2 percent of the population with a bachelor’s degree.