Kentucky lawmakers are trying again to raise the state's dropout age.
Currently, students can drop out of school at 16 years old with parents' permission. But lawmakers and Governor Steve Beshear have pushed to raise the dropout age to 18, regardless of parental consent.
The latest proposal before the legislature would let local school boards decide whether to adopt the higher dropout age. But once 70 districts opt in, it will become mandatory statewide.
The Kentucky House has approved legislation that would raise the school dropout age to 18. House Bill 216 would require all school districts to have the dropout age at 18, unlike a bill that passed the Senate Feb. 8 which let local school boards decide the age. The bill's sponsor, Democrat Jeff Greer says allowing children to drop out of school when they're 16 or 17 is costly to them and the state. They earn less and are more likely to be on public assistance or be incarcerated for crimes. The bill would raise the dropout age to 17 in 2016 and to 18 in 2017.