State board of education looks at high school dropout age

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – State leaders are evaluating whether or not the legal age a student can drop out of high school impacts the graduation rate.

Last year, North Carolina had an all-time high 86 percent of students graduate from high school.

As it stands, students can drop out of high school at 16 years old.

In recent years, the North Carolina General Assembly gave the OK to two North Carolina districts to change their drop out age to 18. State educators say in those districts the dropout rate decreased and the graduation rate increased.

Educators will now determine whether or not they will recommend a statewide age change.

State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson said, “looking at how we can keep every child in school is good for North Carolina, good for the individual and it’s good for the economic development of our state.”

After the state board reviews the findings, it will make a recommendation to the General Assembly.

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