Keeping Kids in School
It has been suggested West Virginia should raise the age limit for compulsory school attendance. It now is 16 years of age; one recommendation is to increase that to 18.
While it is true two more years of school might benefit some at-risk young people, simply raising the compulsory attendance rate misses the point about dropouts entirely.
As matters stand, a student eager to drop out of school at 16 – and with his parents or guardians not objecting – is unlikely to do more than warm a classroom seat for two more years if the attendance age is raised to 18.
If children haven’t been reached and helped by the time they reach 16, what on earth makes us think two more years will make a difference?
To be sure, much more needs to be done to educate at-risk children in West Virginia schools. However, until solutions regarding that are found, raising the compulsory attendance age won’t help.