No, I didn’t write the recent Kentucky Enquirer article with this title, “Kentucky’s dropout law has unintended consequences.” I didn’t even talk to the reporter who wrote it.
But, we’ve been pointing out problems with the idea of forcing the unwilling to stay in school until they reach 18 years of age for several years. Now, it looks like some chickens are coming home to roost with this dubiously crafted Kentucky law.
One specific problem at issue in the news article is forcing students who dropped out under the old Age 16 rule to now return to school until they reach Age 18. These kids are now way behind and probably won’t be able to make up what in many cases is a crushing credit hour deficiency.
But, the law didn’t include any grandfathering, so those kids not yet 18 years old will be breaking the law if they don’t show up for school when the next term starts.
I hope nothing worse comes from this than disgruntled kids stuck in classrooms where they won’t pay attention but probably will grow still more hostile to the school system they already left – once.
How much better things would be if kids who dropped out were really given hope and encouragement that they can make it if they return to school. That sort of encouragement doesn’t seem to be happening with the young lady from Boone County that the article talks about, unfortunately. What makes this worse is that Boone County is actually far better run, in my opinion, than lots of other school systems in the state. So, if Boone County isn’t making things enticing for the about-to-be-forced-back dropouts, I can only imagine what is happening elsewhere around the state.