FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that would raise the school dropout age to 18.
Unlike a bill that passed the Senate Feb. 8, which would allow school boards to decide the issue, the House bill is not a local option proposal.
Democratic Rep. Jeff Greer of Brandenburg, the sponsor, said only 19 states, including Kentucky, allow students to leave high school at the age of 16 without graduating.
Allowing children to drop out of school when they're 16 or 17 is "tremendously costly" to them and the state, Greer said. Those students earn less as adults, and are more likely to be unemployed, or on public assistance or be incarcerated for crimes, he said.
"It's a road to failure," said Greer. "We can change that. We can do what's right. We can change expectations."
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