Bills Target Dropout Rate

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 16, 2007

17-year-old Ann Marie Reyes is one of nine children whose parents both dropped out of school.  She testified at a state hearing on the subject of high school dropouts… 

 “The biggest challenge for me in school has been staying focused with everything that goes on inside and outside of the school that is not academic…”

State data from the 2004-05 school year showed more than sixty-thousand students dropped out of high schools—  State Senator Darrell Steinberg says that may be a conservative estimate.  The Democrat will have five bills on the subject-- one will create an early warning system for students who are failing courses in middle school.

“That is the time to make sure we know who’s at greatest risk and to provide all of the interventions necessary to give them a chance to succeed…”

Steinberg is also proposing academic reviews before a student is given a work permit.  There would be exceptions for economic hardship… He also wants better accounting of the numbers of students who drop out.