House Lawmakers Look to Encourage Attendance, Lower Dropout Rate

House lawmakers are eyeing legislation to encourage teenagers to stay in school and get their high school diploma.

A bill before the House Education Committee on Wednesday increases the minimum age of required school attendance from 16 to the age of 17. The minimum age for truancy would increase accordingly.

The committee also was set to consider separate legislation to reduce the dropout rate.

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That bill requires any child over age 16 to obtain written consent from a parent or guardian before withdrawing from public school prior to graduation.

The bill also mandates an exit interview where the student and his or her parent or legal guardian are advised that dropping out will likely reduce the student's future earning potential and increase the likelihood of being unemployed in the future.

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Copyright AP - Associated Press
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