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Should Students Be 18 To Drop Out?

Maryland's General Assembly is poised to approve a bill to increase the state's minimum dropout age from 16 to 17, and gradually to 18.

Should Maryland require high school students to be 18 years old in order to drop out? 

The General Assembly is expected to pass a bill proposing to increase Maryland's minimum school dropout age from 16 to 18 years old, according to a report by WTOP.

TELL US: When should a student be allowed to drop out of school? Leave a comment below.

The change will align Maryland with Virginia and D.C., where the dropout age is already set at 18.

"Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to sign the bill, which is on its third and final reading in the House," the report states.

The change — according to the bill — is gradual, with the minimum age first increasing to 17 on July 1, 2015, and to 18 two years later.

The bill provides some exceptions for students to dropout early, including: kids who graduate early or get a GED, are married or are in the military, provide financial support for their family, or are taking classes through an alternative program.

TELL US: What do you think of the proposed legislation that will increase the Maryland's minimum dropout age to 18? Is the change justified or should it stay at 16? Leave a comment.

Alla Bradley April 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM
18 is good
SNAKE DR. April 09, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I think keeping someone in school who has no intentions of learning and wants to leave is a bad idea. I understand the intention of the bill but I foresee the outcome being that the students that are trying to learn will be distracted by the ones that no longer want to be there. Someone that is forced to do something that they don't want encourages them to lash out whether it be violently or disruptively. I say if they want to leave let them but in exchange for giving up a FREE education they should NEVER be eligible for government assistance.
No Dropouts April 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Students dropout for a multitude of reasons, from facing pregnancy, bullies and gangs to having to earn full-time wages to support themselves and their families. None of that goes away with age. They need the flexibility and accessibility to complete their high school degrees. Want to learn more? Join us at NoDropouts.org.
Katie April 09, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Good, they should suck it up.
mighty1 April 10, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Why not make it 62,then they can go straight to social security and completely skip the whole welfare thing
franking April 10, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I wouldn't want my 15 year old stuck in a state institution with a man sized 17 year old that desperately doesn't want to be there. Parents are best able to determine when their child should leave HS, not the state.
John Smith April 10, 2012 at 05:43 PM
This is an absolutely ridiculous law. Talk about unintended consequences. There are already too many students in high schools who don't want to be there, don't take it seriously, and decide to make life miserable for everyone else since they can't leave. To force those students to be there for an additional two years, and to force the rest of the students, the teachers, and the administrators to put up with the disruptions caused by these students for an additional two years is asinine. If the Governor wants to do this, then he should also be about creating and properly funding additional alternative education facilities for these students with opportunities and curricula that might give them a chance to succeed. We have done away with nearly all traditional vocational educational programs in this state, eliminating "shop" classes from high schools and capping the enrollment at Harford Tech to the point where they have a waiting list. Where are the carpentry, HVAC, plumbing, auto mechanics, and other trades programs that these students could benefit from? Gone. America has this idiotic belief system that revolves around the ideas that (A) everyone can be smart, (B) everyone should go to college, and (C) when a person turns out not to be smart or go to college, it is a disgrace and it is the fault of that person's teachers. Everything that my teachers and my parents teachers did was wrong, but all the research data shows that those students were better than those of today.
franking April 10, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Can Maryland afford the 56 million a year for this? Can MD afford O'Malley?
1ke April 10, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Forcing young people to wallow in school failure until age18 addresses no societal problem. The actual problem is the lack of school-based and community-based job training that uses 21st century tools and modern industrial processes. Blue-ribbon panels time and time again point to the thousands of technology-intensive jobs that go unfilled. Still, American businesses move manufacturing operations offshore rather than train highly paid, highly mobile American workers. Unfunded legislative initiatives ring hollow.
mighty1 April 10, 2012 at 08:59 PM
John smith and 1ke ,outstanding comments,constructive and to the point,shame we can't move our country's political operations offshore,or did we already do that?
Bob April 10, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Here's some math. (18 year old drop out) - (16 year old dropout) = 2 years of saved taxpayer money otherwise invested in someone who doesn't want to learn Its sad that anyone drops out, but it is a reality.
Carol April 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM
This is just another huge waste of taxpayers money. What will the extra two years accomplish? If a student wants to drop out of school at 16 and is forced to remain in school, what will the consequences be? Does anyone really believe this will add to their education? I'm not sure what the purpose is. The majority of students remain in school until they graduate. If a student at 16 wants to drop out, an additional two years is not going to resolve anything and may even cause disruption to other students who are there to learn. The decision of letting a student drop out of school before 18, should be made by the parents, not our government. The cost is estimated to be $56 million per year. Five years ago, Governor O’Malley’s task force estimated the cost even higher at about $200 million per year. Where is this money going to come from? Probably increased taxes, tolls, and anything else our current government can come up with. When it comes time to vote, I know I will not cast my ballot for our current officials
Kareem N Mikoffee April 11, 2012 at 04:53 AM
What a great idea to keep 18 year old thugs and criminals around in school so they can impregnate more of your freshman daughters.
CS April 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM
I totally agree with John.
Bill Lawson April 11, 2012 at 04:06 PM
This is a difficult situation. Students who hate school will not be very teachable. But the job market isn’t very friendly toward anyone lacking in education. As our government feels increasingly more responsible for people’s welfare, they will increasingly make policies which are intended to “help” people. So it’s a catch 22. So really I see no right answer here. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
Rachel Elizabeth April 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I don't think this is a good idea. It should be up to the parents and students to decide, not the state. High School is just not for some students. My brother dropped out at 17 because he wanted to join the Marines so bad. When I was half way through 9th grade and 15 years old, I opted to start home schooling myself. I found school was too boring, and it wasn't interesting. Once I turned 16, I dropped out and started college. I placed into all college level classes and when everyone else was 18 and graduating high school - I had 2 years of college completed. If I was forced to finish high school, I think I would have failed just for not trying. Although I don't like to hear kids dropout of school, sometimes you have to trust the parents who let them.
Rebecca April 11, 2012 at 06:30 PM
You are an exceptionnot and example and you should have learned the difference of that in your first year of college. By all means congrats, good for you!!! Most students who drop out do so becomes of family circumstances or lack of support. Ask an inner city student who is 16 if they are going to drop out to go to college, there is no money nor resources to do this. Students need support and encouragement to stay in school and to do their best to succeed. I myself dropped out and went on to college but I know I am an exception and do not encourage it my any means!!!!
Rebecca April 11, 2012 at 06:33 PM
let's work on solving the problem of WHY kids drop out instead of FORCING them to stay in!!
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Christopher Kidwell November 14, 2012 at 08:42 AM
With all due respect, this is just going to have surly students in classrooms. A better option would be to give these students the option of "Learn at home", as I did with my college education. Many times, the problem is not with the students, the problem is with the teachers or the pace of the classes. I.E. I was labeled a 'difficult' and 'behind' student in elementary but when they tested me for IQ and learning, I was lightyears ahead of the other students and THAT was why I was acting out. Kennedy-Krieger lambasted the school system over that as well and made them move me to 'more advanced' classes, with them actually thinking about "Hmm.... is the student and teacher's personality going to clash?" which was another 25% of the problem.
Christopher Kidwell November 14, 2012 at 08:43 AM
Well, that answer is simple: Conflicted personalities between the students and the teacher, the students actually being AHEAD of the curve and getting bored in classes.... I could keep on going, but the points are clear. It's not usually the students. Unless you are talking about poor students.
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riley April 10, 2013 at 02:43 PM
people that are trying to learn cant because people who dont want to be in school are forced to and that whould ditract the smart students
riley April 10, 2013 at 02:51 PM
students should be allowed to drop out at 15
riley April 10, 2013 at 03:01 PM
students should be allowed to drop out after one year of high school
Lone May 08, 2013 at 05:59 PM
These are good points but I go with drop out if you and gets no acesetaints
Christopher Kidwell May 09, 2013 at 05:40 AM
Lone, judging by the fact that you misspelled ASSISTANCE, I'm not taking you to seriously on this issue. Secondly, public assistance should NEVER be based on whether you have finished high school or any other thing than personal need. We already have it where you have to have a job to get welfare and other social assistance (save if you are mentally or physically deficient, or even the state job service cannot find you a job). That is all that we need in terms of limiting the ability of people to get public assistance.
Christopher Kidwell May 09, 2013 at 05:41 AM
No Dropouts, the fact is that for 90%+ of the jobs out there today, you don't need a college degree or even a high school diploma. What you do need? TRAINING! That is the biggest problem today, lack of training and experience for workers.

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