By Beth Musgrave
FRANKFORT — The House on Wednesday passed a compromise measure that would gradually increase the drop out age from 16 to 18.
Senate Bill 109 originally would allow school districts to increase the drop out age from 16 to 18 if the districts could show that they had programs for at-risk students. The House had passed a measure earlier this legislative session that would require all school districts to increase the drop out age from 16 to 18 by July 2017. That measure has never gained traction in the Senate over concerns that there were not enough alternative programs for kids who did not want to attend school.
The House Education Committee changed SB 109 on Tuesday. As amended by the House, SB 109 would make all school districts change the drop out age to 18 once 40 percent of school districts had demonstrated that they had alternative programs for at-risk students. The amended SB109 passed the House Wednesday. It now heads back to the Senate. If the Senate does not concur with those changes, a conference committee will likely be appointed to iron out differences.