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Senate in Arizona Votes To Require Attendance Until Age of 16

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The Arizona State Senate recently voted in favor of a bill that would keep students in school until they turn 16 or complete the 10th grade.

The bill, which passed by a 17-to-11 margin, now goes to the state House, where it stands a "marginal chance of passage," according to its original sponsor, Senator Anne Lindeman.

The bill, Senator Lindeman explained, alters the state's current compulsory education law, which allows students to leave schools when they turn 16 or complete the eighth grade, whichever comes first.

"I felt that many of the 14- and 15-year-olds who would otherwise leave school might decide that school isn't a bad place after all if they were compelled to stay for two more years," she said.

Senator Lindeman also said that Arizona is one of only four states that allow children to leave school as early as the eighth grade. "Most of these children are not capable of making such an important decision in their lives at that age," she said. "Furthermore, once they get out, there are no jobs available for them," increasing the likelihood that they will wind up breaking the law, she added.

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