College & Workforce Readiness State of the States

Education Plan Targets High School Dropouts

By Debra Viadero — January 20, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

• New Hampshire
• Gov. John Lynch

BRIC ARCHIVE

Raising the compulsory-school-attendance age from 16 to 18 should be a legislative priority, Gov. John Lynch said last week.

“Last year an estimated 2,300 of our students dropped out of high school,” the Democrat said in his Jan. 18 State of the State Address to New Hampshire lawmakers. “We must make it clear to young people that we are not going to give up on them; or let them give up on themselves.”

Dropout Prevention: The state Senate was scheduled to hold a hearing this week on the proposal to raise the age for compulsory attendance. Under current law, students are permitted to leave school at age 16 with their parents’ written consent. If the bill becomes law, New Hampshire will join a growing number of states in which required attendance ends at age 18—or a total of 17 states nationwide, according to the latest count by the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.

Read a complete transcript of Gov. John Lynch’s 2006 State of the State address. Posted by New Hampshire’s Office of the Governor.

But Gov. Lynch said last week that the state was exploring other ways to reduce the state’s four-year dropout rate, which is around 13 percent. He said he would hold a summit this spring to discuss alternative high school programs, vocational high schools, internships, night school, and other strategies for keeping young people in school longer.

School Funding: For the second year in a row, Mr. Lynch called on lawmakers to eliminate “once and for all” the state’s controversial statewide property tax, which helps pay for schools. The legislature reduced the tax last year when it overhauled the school funding formula, but it stopped short of ending the tax altogether.

Child Protection: The governor added that he wants to toughen the penalties and restrictions that the state imposes on people convicted of sex offenses against children. His proposal would limit how close those offenders could live to parks, schools, and children’s centers, and would require them to wear monitoring devices after they are released from prison.

Mr. Lynch also proposed measures to reduce tuition at state colleges and universities for disadvantaged students and to ensure that all students are covered by health insurance while they attend college.

The education proposals were part of a speech that stressed bipartisanship, especially in the face of natural disasters, such as the floods that ravaged some New Hampshire towns last fall.

But Warren Henderson, the chairman of the state’s Republican Party, said in a statement that the talk glossed over some of the problems that loom over the state, including two lawsuits by towns seeking to challenge the new school aid formula.

A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Class of COVID: 2021's Graduates Are Struggling More and Feeling the Stress
COVID-19 disrupted the class of 2020’s senior year. A year later, the transition to college has in some ways gotten worse.
7 min read
Conceptual illustration of young adults in limbo
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness From Our Research Center Helping Students Plan How to Pay for College Is More Important Than Ever: Schools Can Help
Fewer and fewer high school graduates have applied for federal financial aid for college since the pandemic hit.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration of young person sitting on top of a financial trend line.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision<br/>
College & Workforce Readiness Louisiana Student Finds Stability Amid Tumultuous Freshman Year
Logan Balfantz arrived at the University of Notre Dame last fall considering himself one of the lucky graduates in 2020.
3 min read
Logan Balfantz
Logan Balfantz
Courtesy of Sarah Kubinski
College & Workforce Readiness Layoffs, COVID, Spotty Internet: A Fla. Student Persists in College
Bouts with COVID-19 were just the latest challenges to face class of 2020 graduate Magdalena Estiverne and her family.
2 min read
Magdalina Estiverne poses for a portrait at her home in Orlando, Fla., on October 2, 2020. Estiverne graduated from high school in the spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Orlando, Fla., student Magdalena Estiverne poses for a portrait in 2020, four months after her high school graduation.
Eve Edelheit for Education Week