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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.

Express your opinion on the topic in the comments section 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.

Montgomery County Delegates Anne Kaiser and Eric Luedtke voiced their support of the proposed legislation, according to a report by Southern Maryland Online.

Kaiser cited the state's "moral obligation" to ensure children take advantage of their free public education.

Luedtke, a former teacher, echoed her sentiments.

“'There is no such thing as a child who does not want to succeed,'" Luedtke said, according to the report, "adding that the bill would send a message to every child 'that we believe in them.'" 

The Montgomery County Board of Education also strongly supports the bill, MCPS spokesman Dana Tofig said.

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? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!

Frances Frost April 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM
This is the first I've read of this issue, but yes, I would support it. When kids drop out of school at 16 - what are they going to do with themselves? How are they expected to be a productive, self-sufficient member of society with, what, a 10th grade education and not even a diploma? They'll be getting nowhere but into a bunch of trouble. At least at 18, someone could go into the military (or can they, do you need a diploma? I'm not sure) It would be great if we didn't even allow drop-outs, but I guess at some point, you have to let people decide for themselves.

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