Schools Race to Cash-In on New Law's "Drop-Out" Incentives

Jun 28, 2013

There’s a rush of sorts among Kentucky school districts to raise their drop out age from 16 to 18.  Just days after the state’s new “Drop-out Law” took effect, about a third of the state’s 174 districts have acted.  Still, Kentucky Department of Education Spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez says 16 will remain the legal drop-out age this fall.

Credit Alex Slitz / Bowling Green Daily News

“This won’t take affect for them until 2015 or 2016, 2015-2016 school year.  So, it gives them a couple of years to ramp up.  Many of them already have a lot of services in place for students,  but this allows them to expand those services, really assess them to see if they need to add something new to that,” said Rodriguez.

School districts have been motivated by a ten-thousand dollar grant offered by the state to the first 96 schools district that sign on.  Nancy Rodriguez, with the State Department of Education, says their aim is to move all schools in that direction.

“Well, I think our hope is that schools would go and do this policy, with or without the grant money.  We want all students to graduate from high school and If you don’t have a high school diploma, then that’s really your ticket into a good paying jobs and go on to college and career,” added Rodriguez.

The change is voluntary until 55 percent of school districts raise the drop out age to 18.  Once that happens, the remaining districts must implement the policy within four years.