FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/10/13) – At its meeting today, the Kentucky Board of Education and Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday urged local school boards to “be courageous” and adopt a policy to raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18 effective in the 2015-16 school year.
The state board approved a resolution encouraging districts to be early adopters of the policy, “in order to send a strong message that completing high school is essential to ensuring that every student graduates college- and career-ready.”
Local boards of education can begin adopting such a policy on July 1 or thereafter that would take effect in the 2015-16 school year.
Commissioner Holliday announced a program to award $10,000 planning grants to the first 57 districts to approve a policy raising the dropout age prior to the 2015-16 school year. The money can be used to develop a required plan for implementation that would include integration of career and technical education, engagement of the community and the use of community resources.
Legislation passed in the most recent General Assembly includes a provision that once 55 percent of districts adopt a policy requiring students to stay in school until they are 18, the remainder of districts must do so within four years. Early adoption of the policy would allow districts to inform students beginning with the Class of 2019 of the change and give school and district staffs time to plan for its successful implementation.
The resolution recognized the collaborative efforts of Governor Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, the General Assembly, Commissioner Holliday, the state board and other partners to pass Senate Bill 97 to raise the compulsory school age from 16 to age 18.
In the past, students could drop out of school at 16 but as the resolution states, “this severely diminished their opportunities for success in life either in postsecondary education or a career.
A number of districts have already indicated their intention to be early adopters of the policy raising the compulsory school age to 18.
A full text of the resolution follows:
Resolution Urging Local Boards of Education to be Early Adopters of a Policy to Raise the Compulsory School Attendance Age to 18 by the Kentucky Board of Education
Whereas, In the past, students were permitted by state law to drop out of school at the age of 16, thus severely diminishing their opportunities for success in life either in postsecondary education or a career; and
Whereas, During the 2013 legislative session, outstanding collaboration occurred between Governor Steven L. Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear, the General Assembly, Commissioner Terry Holliday, Kentucky Board of Education, and other education partners resulting in the adoption of Senate Bill 97 so that the compulsory school attendance age will be raised to 18 in the 2015-16 school year for those districts whose local boards of education enact such a policy; and
Whereas, Local boards of education can begin adopting such a policy on July 1, 2013 or thereafter that contains an effective date of 2015-16; and
Whereas, The early adoption of such a policy will give districts the ability to give notice to rising freshmen of this important change and give school and district staffs time to plan for its successful implementation; and
Whereas, The quicker that 55 percent of Kentucky districts adopt these policies, then the sooner that all districts must adopt a policy, within four years of when the 55 percent is reached, and ensure that the interventions and programs are put in place to meet students’ needs in order for them to persist to graduation.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Kentucky Board of Education urges local boards of education to be courageous, early adopters of a policy to raise the compulsory school attendance age to 18, effective in the 2015-16 school year, in order to send a strong message that completing high school is essential to ensuring that every student graduates college- and career-ready.
Information provided by Rebecca Blessing
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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