New Leadership in Kentucky Senate Doesn't Equal Easier Road for Dropout Bill

Advocates for raising the dropout age in Kentucky have a new hope heading into the next legislative session. Currently, Kentucky law allows 16-year-olds to dropout of school with parental permission. And education advocates have pushed to raise the minimum dropout age to 18.

Dropout bills have consistently failed in Frankfort, but advocates are emboldened this year now that former Senate President David Williams is no longer in the General Assembly.

But new Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says that doesn't mean the bill is a sure thing.

“Because there are legitimate policy concerns we have had with raising the dropout age to 18," the Georgetown Republican says.

Opponents' main concern is that students who would drop out at 16 would become disruptive or inattentive if forced to stay in school longer. Several lawmakers have proposed alternate education plans for would-be dropouts to address this issue.