House committee passes bill to raise dropout age

Legislation that would eventually raise the dropout age in Kentucky sailed through a house budget committee Tuesday.

Members of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee passed the bill 24 to 1.

It would raise the dropout age to 17 in 2013, and increase it to 18 by 2014.

Representative James Comer, a Republican from Tompkinsville, was the only person to vote against it.

But several other lawmakers voiced concerns about how Kentucky will pay for programs to keep children in school.

"Until I am convinced that we have better alternative programs, I am going to have to vote against the bill," Representative Comer said.

"This type of legislation really helps us reach that goal of being college and career ready," Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said.

The bill would also set up programs for state workers to devote one hour a week to mentoring children.

The bill now goes to the full House.

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