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10/13/2019 11:12 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=28484
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 22, 2019 01:17 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller and Rep. Joe Ciresi, Rep. Daniel J. Deasy, Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, Rep. William C. Kortz, II, Rep. Tina M. Davis, Rep. Joanna E. McClinton, Rep. P. Michael Sturla, Rep. Jared G. Solomon, Rep. Ed Neilson, Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood
To: All House members
Subject: MODIFIED VERSION - Updating compulsory school age to 6 through 18
 
This is a modified version of a previously introduced bill -- HB 112 -- from this session. These modifications were made to be more in sinc with the Governor's proposal.

Currently, Pennsylvania is one of only two states that wait until a child is 8 to require school attendance. We also allow a 17 year old to drop out of school regardless of his or her parent’s or guardian’s wishes. I believe we are failing our children on both accounts.

This legislation would have Pennsylvania join 26 other states in recognizing the importance of early learning by requiring school attendance by age 6 (9 states and the District of Columbia require school attendance by age 5), and . This bill also deletes language that allows allows 17 year old students to continue to quit school.

The earlier that children begin attending school, the more opportunity they have to begin learning basic skills and academic fundamentals, and to interact in a positive social setting with other children on a daily basis. This structured environment can help to support and further set children on a path toward future academic, social and career success by providing them with an earlier start.

Additionally, the statistics are overwhelming that those who do not graduate high school face more difficult challenges and greater economic insecurity. The reality is that in this economy, failure to graduate high school severely hinders future opportunities for our kids. Dropout rates in several areas of our Commonwealth have reached a near epidemic, and I believe that we must assist school districts in developing dropout prevention policies that will increase graduation rates. Removing the option for a seventeen-year-old to sign himself or herself out of school without a parent’s consent is a step in that direction.

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Introduced as HB593