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Senate Bill 268: Raising the Age of Required Attendance of Children in School
Sen. Green; Sen. Estabrook; Sen. Gallus; Sen. D'Allesandro; Sen. Foster; Sen. Odell; Sen. Gottesman; Sen. Larsen; Sen. Hassan; Sen. Martel Rep. Weyler; Rep. S. L'Heureux; Rep. Craig; Rep. Snyder
This bill would raise the age of compulsory attendance from 16 years to 18 years.
|01/4/2006||Senate: Introduced; referred to Senate Education Committee|
|02/07/2006||Senate: Hearing, Room 103, 9:30 a.m.|
|02/21/2006||Senate: Senate Education Committee vote expected, did not vote|
|03/07/2006||Senate: Senate Education Committee vote: ought to pass with amendment, 3-2|
|03/22/2006||Senate: Floor Vote passed|
|03/28/2006||House: Introduced, referred to Education Committee|
|04/04/2006||House: Public Hearing, Ought to Pass, 11-10|
|04/12/2006||House: Floor Vote, bill failed|
|04/12/2006||House: Rep. O'Neil moved for interim study, motion adopted|
|05/24/2006||House: Referred to Education Committee for interim study|
|10/16/2006||House: Interim Study Report: Recommended for future legislation|
None at this time.
Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon: 75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages, 1996 through 1998.)
Twenty-nine states only require attendance to age 16. Older children unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want to learn.
It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is ready for college or the work force. (Some 16-year-olds who are not academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than from being forced to sit in a classroom.
Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools. When California raised the age of compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.
For more information on compulsory attendance, please see our issue analyses on the effects of compulsory attendance age legislation.
You may be told there is a "homeschool" exception to the higher compulsory attendance age. That is simply not correct. Even students who are being homeschooled would be required to comply with legal requirements until age 18.
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