22 February 2010

Legislature 2010: Dropouts

Add Gov. Joe Manchin to the list of those who consider raising West Virginia's mandatory school attendance age from 16 to 17 a "superficial fix," The Associated Press reports.

Manchin's stance spells trouble for the Senate's attempt to address the state's high dropout rate, which focuses only on the attendance age and unexcused absences.

But it also improves prospect for a bill unanimously endorsed Friday by the House Education Committee "that attacks the dropout rate on several fronts," AP reports.

That bill includes attendance age and absences provisions as well as a GED option to help career and technical students, special programs for disruptive students, and more juvenile drug courts, the article said.

"I think the (House) committee would have rejected the bill if the only things it did was raise the compulsory attendance age and limit unexcused absences," House Education Chair Mary Poling, D-Barbour, told AP.

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