And, it isn’t nearly enough!
CN|2 reports that Kentucky House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, is furious about a plan announced in the Kentucky Board of Education meeting on Wednesday to pay $10,000 each to the first 57 school districts that adopt a minimum high school dropout age of 18.
Hoover correctly points out that this will cost well over $500,000 and he wants to know how the department just happens to have so much cash “laying around to offer and why legislators were never told it existed.”
Among other obvious unmet education needs in the commonwealth, Hoover points out that this money could have been used for textbook purchases instead.
In any event, if Age 18 is such a great deal, why does the Kentucky Department of Education have to offer bribes for local districts to adopt it? Under legislation passed in the recent regular session, adoption of an Age 18 Rule is left to each district to decide. However, when a majority of districts have adopted Age 18, then all remaining districts are automatically forced to do so.
Could it be that someone wants to rush every district to adopt so we don’t ever get a chance to compare graduation rate performance in districts that have Age 18 to those that don’t? After all, we have clearly pointed out before that Age 18 rules don’t work very well in the majority of states that have long experience with them.
By the way, providing only $10,000 per district is just a drop in the bucket compared to the total costs involved with moving to a minimum dropout age of 18.
Districts would be wise to consider the full bottom line before biting on any measly $10,000 carrots.