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No more ‘early outs’ in Iowa?

LoiteringIowa Senate Democrats have offered a number of pieces of legislation this session aimed at preventing at-risk students from becoming high school dropouts.

The most recent offering of the Senate Committee on Education, chaired by state Sen. Herman Quirmbach (D-Ames), however, would require Iowans to remain in school until adulthood. Senate Study Bill 1138, filed yesterday, would raise Iowa’s maximum compulsory school attendance age to 18.

Currently, students are required to remain in school until they complete the year that includes their 16th birthday. SSB 1138 does not alter current provisions for early graduation, those who obtain a high school equivalency diploma before their 18th birthday, and other exemptions from the compulsory school attendance law.

Orchard Place, formerly known as the Des Moines Children’s Home, has declared its support for the bill. The Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association, the Area Education Agencies of Iowa, and the Iowa School Counselors Association have all declared they are “undecided” on the proposed legislation.