The governor and Kentucky Department of Education staffers are reveling about the pending mandate that all of the state’s school districts will have to adopt a minimum high school dropout age of 18 by the 2017-18 school year.
However, the high-performing Oldham County Public School District isn’t jumping on this bandwagon.
The Oldham Era reports, “OC schools in no rush to raise dropout age.”
Oldham County schools have several reasons for their hesitancy. One is that properly supporting an Age 18 policy requires expensive special programs. The law that requires the Age 18 policy change included no funding for such programs.
Another reason is that upscale Oldham County does not have many dropouts now. Even more interesting, the law would not change the current dropout picture very much. In Oldham County, out of 16 dropouts last year, 12 were already 18 years old and would be able to drop out even with the new policy in place.
That raises an uncomfortable possibility: Will Age 18 dropout restrictions simply run up school costs without significantly boosting high school graduation rates? After all, Age 18 really hasn’t performed well elsewhere.
Will Age 18 work better in Kentucky? Only time will provide the answer to that one.