Covington, Kentucky

Covington Among 75 Kentucky School Districts to Vote to Raise Dropout Age

Seventy-five Kentucky school districts have voted to adopt the new ‘Graduate Kentucky’ standard to keep students attending school through age 18,  since Tuesday, the first day for school boards to adopt the policy. 

Covington Independent Public Schools joined the list on Thursday night. Kenton County Schools will vote on July 1. Bellevue Independent, Dayton Independent, and Erlanger-Elsmere are the other Nothern Kentucky districts on the list of those already having approved the measure. 

Governor Steve Beshear, First Lady Jane Beshear and Education Commissioner Terry Holliday commended the districts for their speed in changing their policies. 

“We knew there would be a groundswell of support for keeping students in school to obtain their high school diplomas, but this rush to vote by the school boards has exceeded our already lofty expectations,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Districts of all sizes and across the state are looking at this common-sense policy and are making the wise decision to move fast to adopt it.  They’re saying loud and clear that they want to be a part of building a better future for all Kentucky students, and I applaud them for their effort and energy.”

Senate Bill 97 (SB 97), known as the “Graduate Kentucky” bill, passed this year and 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 percent of the state’s school districts adopt the policy.

Earlier in the week, the leaders launched ‘Blitz to 96’ – an effort to get 96 school districts to vote on the compulsory attendance age.  Once 96 districts have approved the change, the remaining school districts must adopt and implement the policy within four years.  By Friday afternoon, the race to 96 districts was 75 percent complete.

“By voting to keep students in school, these districts are giving these students a better shot at life – better jobs, better health outcomes, and better stability for their families,” said Mrs. Beshear. “I congratulate to these school boards for putting faith in their students and placing a high value on education.”

“The number of districts that have moved forward with the ‘Graduate Kentucky’ bill in the past few days is incredible,” Commissioner Holliday said. “Clearly, these districts recognize the importance of education to a student and a community, and made a commitment to both by agreeing to educate all students and prepare them for life after high school.”

The first districts to adopt the policy in the ‘Blitz to 96’ will be invited to Frankfort for a special news conference with the Governor and Commissioner to recognize them for their swift action. 

The Kentucky Department of Education is providing $10,000 planning grants to school districts that adopt the new attendance age policy in the 2013-14 school year. The funds are designed to be used to plan for full implementation in the 2015-16 school year. 

Research shows that high school graduates live longer, are less likely to be teen parents, and are more likely to raise healthier, better-educated children. High school graduates are also less likely to commit crimes, rely on government healthcare or use other public services.

More information about Graduate Kentucky, the Blitz to 96, and resources available to school districts is available at www.graduate.ky.gov

A list of school districts which have adopted the new compulsory attendance age follows, as reported to the Kentucky Dept. of Education as of 2:48 p.m. today.

1.

Adair County

26.

Floyd County Schools

51.

Menifee County Schools

2.

Augusta Independent

27.

Fulton County Schools

52.

Mercer County Schools

3.

Barren County Schools

28.

Fulton Independent

53.

Metcalfe County Schools

4.

Bath County

39.

Garrard County Schools

54.

Monroe County Schools

5.

Bell County Schools

30.

Graves County

55.

Montgomery County Schools

6.

Bellevue Independent

41.

Green County Schools

56.

Morgan County Schools

7.

Bourbon County

32.

Hancock County

57.

Murray Independent

8.

Bowling Green Independent

33.

Hardin County Schools

58.

Nicholas County Schools

9.

Boyd County Schools

34.

Harrison County High School

59.

Owensboro Independent

10.

Boyle County Schools

35.

Hart County Schools

60.

Owsley County Schools

11.

Breathitt County Schools

36.

Hazard Independent

61.

Paducah Independent

12.

Bullitt County Schools

37.

Henry County Schools

62.

Paris Independent

13.

Burgin independent

38.

Hopkins County Schools

63.

Powell County Schools

14.

Campbellsville Independent

39.

Jackson Independent

64.

Pulaski County Schools

15.

Christian County Public Schools

40.

Johnson County Schools

65.

Rowan County Schools

16.

Corbin Independent

41.

LaRue County Schools

66.

Russell Independent

17.

Covington Independent

42.

Lawrence County Schools

67.

Simpson County Schools

18.

Danville Independent

43.

Leslie County Schools

68.

Somerset Independent

19.

Dawson Springs Independent

44.

Lincoln County

69.

Taylor County Schools

20.

Dayton Independent

45.

Livingston County

70.

Trigg County

21.

Elizabethtown Independent

46.

Logan County Schools

71.

Union County Schools

22.

Elliot County Schools

47.

Marion County Public Schools

72.

Warren County Schools

23.

Eminence Independent

48.

Marshall County Schools

73.

Washington County Schools

24.

Erlanger-Elsmere Schools

49.

Mayfield Independent Schools

74.

Williamsburg Independent

25.

Estill County

50.

McCracken County Schools

75.

Wolfe County Schools

Photo: Covington Board of Education Building/RCN file