(Frankfort, Ky.) - Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is asking school districts across the state to raise their dropout age to 18-years-old.
This year, Kentucky lawmakers approved a bill allowing districts to increase the dropout age from 16 to 18. Beshear signed the bill into law, saying that the days of dropping out of high school and expecting a dependable, well-paying hob are long gone.
“If the high school dropouts of 2009 had graduated, Kentucky’s economy would have an additional $4.2 billion in wages over those students’ lifetimes. Guiding those students to graduation creates significant benefits not only for the students themselves, but also for the communities where they live,” the governor said.
The new law is voluntary until 55 percent of Kentucky’s 197 school districts raise the age, then it becomes mandatory within four years.
Tuesday was the first day that school districts could officially begin to raise the dropout age in accordance with the law. The Kentucky Department of Education is providing $10,000 planning grants to districts that adopt the new policy this coming school year.