KY House Passes Law Raising Minimum School Dropout Age

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Students wouldn't be allowed to drop out of school before their 18th birthday under legislation that has passed the House.

The vote was 87-10 Thursday afternoon. Gov. Steve Beshear, a two-term Democrat, has been promoting the legislation for years, most recently in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech.

The proposal would increase the dropout age incrementally from 16 to 17 to 18 over a period of years, giving both students and school districts time to adjust to the change.

The legislation now goes to the Senate. The Democratic-controlled House has approved the measure in past years, but it has never been passed by the Republican majority in the Senate.

Critics fear that classrooms would be disrupted by students who don't want to be in school.