Council mulls dropout change

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When you’re 16, you can’t drink, you can’t vote and you can’t buy tobacco. You can drop out of high school, though.

But City Councilors Tito Jackson and John Connolly  are looking to change that and continued their fight yesterday to raise the eligibility age for school-ditchers from 16 to 18.

“We … allow a 16-year-old to put a low ceiling on their future by leaving school,” said Connolly during a city council meeting.

Efforts to file a home rule petition at the state level to make the changes moved forward yesterday, and a hearing on the proposed bill was scheduled for next week.

Jackson said city officials could to change the lives of young people in Boston and give them a good start to life.

“We live in a city with 34 colleges and universities and 150,000 college students and we want [BPS] kids to have the opportunity to land in one of those universities,” he said.

But Councilor Bill Linehan, having been a troubled student himself, doesn’t think the city should mandate a law to keep kids in class, he said.

“[BPS] will have very destructive students … with all the other good, matriculating students for two more years. One student in a class of 30 can make a mess of [that class].”

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.



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