Governor signs bill to increase dropout age to 18

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law that will allow school boards to increase the mandatory school age in their districts from 16 to 18.

If more than 55 percent of districts bar students from dropping out until 18, then all of Kentucky's remaining districts must follow suit within four years, according to the law.

Proponents say the law - if enacted statewide - will prevent some 6,000 Kentucky teens from quitting school early each year. Fifteen other states bar students from withdrawing until they're legal adults.

Beshear signed the law on Monday after a five-year effort by some lawmakers. It's a compromise between Republicans who wanted individual districts to have discretion over the dropout age and Democrats who wanted a statewide law.

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