As part of a plan to increase high school graduation rates, City Council Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn proposed raising the legal high school drop-out age to 18.
"By raising the minimum age at which a student can drop out to 18, we will ensure only legal adults are making these important life decisions," Quinn said in a statement Sunday.
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The city would need permission from the state to change its drop-out age from 17. Quinn said the move would send a message to students that the city expects them to stay in school until graduation.
Some 9,000 students dropped out of city high schools last year, Quinn said. The average income for dropouts is $8,000 less than high school graduates.
"Anything less than 100 percent graduation rate is unacceptable and we as a city, strive to change this and take measures to correct it," Quinn said.
The state's Department of Education did not immediately respond to request for comment on Quinn's proposal.
Also part of her plan, Quinn said she would expand vocational schools and six-year high school associate degree programs.
Quinn would also put in place an alert system to notify parents, teachers and other school officials when a middle school student has high absences, suspensions or poor grades—indicators that students are likely to drop out. She would hold schools more accountable for successes in a revised progress report.
She said she would also implement wider-use of student-led conferences in the city.
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