Oklahoma Bill Would Raise High School Dropout Age to 18 - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Oklahoma Bill Would Raise High School Dropout Age to 18

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The Oklahoma Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill Monday that would prohibit students under the age of 18 from dropping out of school. Governor Brad Henry says he is challenging the state to attain the lowest dropout rate in the country over the next five years. KTEN's Andrea Kurys reports.     

By making it harder to leave school, Governor Henry hopes to reduce Oklahoma's dropout rate and increase the number of high school graduates.     

The Ardmore High School Principal says all public schools have a problem with students dropping out, and Ardmore High is no exception. He says the typical high school drop-out starts falling behind in 8th, 9th and 10th grade. They can also be socially involved with people who cause them to lose motivation and the desire to complete school.

Bobby Upshaw says he supports the bill because it's a positive step toward building a student's future. "We all recognize the fact that a high school diploma is much more marketable and allows young people to access more opportunities after high school than does a GED or less," he said.     

There are several things Ardmore High School officials are doing to reduce the number of high school drop-outs. Free summer school classes allow students who fail a class to make up that course. Officials are also looking into the opportunity for students to do credit recovery online or during the evenings.     

Upshaw says the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center has a program that assists young people with recovering from dropping out and completing their high school diploma.     

Another resource is Take Two Academy, Carter County's alternative school. It provides students with a smaller, more supportive environment to learn.

Andrea Kurys, KTEN News.