Delaware Could Raise Dropout Age to 17 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Could Raise Dropout Age to 17

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DOVER, Del. -- Legislation to raise the dropout rate in Delaware for high school students to 17 years old was pre-filed in the General Assembly, a measure supporters say will keep teenagers from making a choice that will hurt their overall futures.

The bill, which has co-sponsors from Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate, would require high school attendance beyond 16 years old.

State Rep. Tim Dukes (R-Laurel) said the bill would keep more at-risk students in the school system and out of situations where they can't find work and have trouble providing for themselves.

"They make a premature decision before they're ready to and when you look at the statistics of someone who is a drop out, it's very very alarming and disappointing," he said.

Joyce Sessoms runs the ARK Educational Resource Center in Laurel and is a former high school counselor. She said many students who are struggling with classes or other issues in life drop out of high school at 16 because they think it will be easier but eventually find it can cause major problems.

"Once you fill out an application and you check 'no' that you don't have a high school diploma or a GED, the employer will not hire you," she said. "You close the door on lots of opportunities."

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