A year after they could vote to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18, 152 school districts have now adopted the policy and more are in the process. The “Graduation Bill” made adoption voluntary until 55 percent—or 96—of the state’s school districts adopt the policy. Since that threshold has been reached, the remainder of Kentucky’s districts must now adopt and implement a compulsory attendance age of 18 no later than the 2017-18 school year. To read more about this historic education achievement, click here.
152 School Districts have raised graduation age to 18.
A Message from the Governor and First Lady
Kentucky school districts have an unparalleled opportunity to offer students a better future and strengthen their community’s workforce and families—all by taking a simple vote. As of June 25, 2013, school boards can adopt a new policy of requiring students to remain in school through their 18th birthdays.
The days of dropping out of high school and expecting a dependable, well-paying job are long gone. If the high school dropouts of 2009 had graduated, Kentucky’s economy would have an additional $4.2 billion in wages over those students’ lifetimes.
Over the past five years, we have worked with education leaders and legislators across the state to prevent our high school students from dropping out. During the Spring 2013 legislative session, the hard work paid off with the passage of the graduation bill, Senate Bill 97. This legislation phases in an increase in the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18, amending the school attendance law created in 1934.
The adoption of SB 97 is voluntary until 55% of the state’s school districts adopt the policy. Once 96 districts have approved the change, the remaining districts must adopt and implement the policy within four years. Our hope is that we will have 100% voluntary adoption.
We will no longer allow our students to fall behind because they did not graduate from high school. We look forward to creating a stronger education system in Kentucky and hope you will join us in our efforts.
Governor Steve Beshear
First Lady Jane Beshear