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Introduced Version House Bill 2456 History

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hb2456 intr
H. B. 2456


          (By Delegates Marcum, R. Phillips, Andes, Ferro, Ellington, Diserio, Ferns, Lawrence, White,
Eldridge and Reynolds)

          [Introduced February 14, 2013; referred to the
          Committee on Education then Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §18-8-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the school dropout age from sixteen to seventeen.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That §18-8-1a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.
§18-8-1a. Commencement and termination of compulsory school attendance; public school entrance requirements; exceptions.

  (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section one of this article, compulsory school attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth birthday is reached prior to September 1 of such the year or upon enrolling in a publicly supported kindergarten program and subject to subdivision (3) of this subsection, continues to the sixteenth seventeenth birthday or for as long as the student continues to be enrolled in a school system after the sixteenth seventeenth birthday.
  (1) A child may be removed from such a kindergarten program when the principal, teacher and parent or guardian concur that the best interest of the child would not be served by requiring further attendance: Provided, That the principal shall make the final determination with regard to compulsory school attendance in a publicly supported kindergarten program.
  (2) The compulsory school attendance provision of this article shall be enforced against a person eighteen years of age or older for as long as the person continues to be enrolled in a school system, and may not be enforced against the parent, guardian, or custodian of the person.
  (3) Beginning with the 2011-2012 high school freshman cohort class of students, and notwithstanding the provisions of section one of this article, compulsory school attendance begins with the school year in which the sixth birthday is reached prior to September 1 of such year or upon enrolling in a publicly supported kindergarten program and continues to the seventeenth birthday or for as long as the student continues to be enrolled in a school system after the seventeenth birthday The Legislature finds that increasing the age at which a student may drop out of school from sixteen to seventeen gives the student more time to make an educated decision about discontinuing education and may make them less likely to become dependent on the state and less likely to be dependent on alcohol and other drugs.
  (4) Beginning with the December 2010 interim meeting period, and semiannually thereafter, the state superintendent shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on the impact of the increased age requirement of subdivision (3) of this subsection, and the progress of the state board and the county boards in implementing the requirements of section six of this article.
  (b) Attendance at a state-approved or Montessori kindergarten, as provided in section eighteen, article five of this chapter, is deemed school attendance for purposes of this section. Prior to entrance into the first grade in accordance with section five, article two of this chapter, each child must have either:
  (1) Successfully completed such publicly or privately supported, state-approved kindergarten program or Montessori kindergarten program; or
  (2) Successfully completed an entrance test of basic readiness skills approved by the county in which the school is located. The test may be administered in lieu of kindergarten attendance only under extraordinary circumstances to be determined by the county board.
  (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and of section five, article two of this chapter and section eighteen, article five of this chapter, a county board may provide for advanced entrance or placement under policies adopted by said the board for any child who has demonstrated sufficient mental and physical competency for such advanced entrance or placement.
  (d) This section does not prevent a student from another state from enrolling in the same grade in a public school in West Virginia as the student was enrolled at the school from which the student transferred.
  (e) Each county school system shall provide a program by which any student who has reached ninth grade or higher and has failed to achieve one or more credits necessary to permit graduation from high school after the expected period of attendance, may earn or recover one or more credits to ensure graduation at the appropriate time.


  NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the school dropout age for all students from sixteen to seventeen, and to require each county system to provide a program by which a student who has fallen behind in credits necessary to graduate after the expected period of attendance may earn those credits in order to graduate on time.


  Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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