Drop Out Debate Continues In Frankfort

By Brett Baldeck | 

The dropout debate rages on in Frankfort with the house passing legislation on Thursday to increase the dropout age to 18.

Currently, a student only has to be 16 with a parents consent.

Local educators say they are behind the idea for the age increase.

"Well I certainly think there needs to be an age in which you need to be in school. I think that we want all kids to make it to graduation whether that be 18, 19, 20 years old," says Matthew Bastin.

Bastin has been principal at Lighthouse Academy, an alternative school, for 4 years.

He knows first hand the importance of educating students, even if it's a struggle. His only concern for the new legislation is additional dollars.

"Any new bill that requires more students to come into school we are always very cautious about funding and making sure the appropriate funding is there to support whatever additional kids we may need to work with at our school," says Bastin.

Critics opposed to the dropout age increase say students will be forced to attend school, which may disrupt those who want to learn.

But guidance counselors say it's all about treating students who may have a tough time as an individual.

"Well I think you have to make education relevant. Everything has to be relevant to the learner. A kid has to find his or her niche and then they have to understand they have to work to where they want to be," says Greg Cavanah, a guidance counselor at Greenwood High School.

Although it passed in the House, the legislation to increase the dropout age now moves to the Senate.

Similar legislation has been brought to the Senate in past years and has been turned down.

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