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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 22, 2019 11:15 AM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Updating the Compulsory School Age
In the future, I will be introducing legislation that will lower the compulsory age of school attendance and raise the age of dropout in Pennsylvania, in accordance with the Governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) Proposal.

Currently, the Commonwealth is one of only two states that allows parents to wait until a child is eight years old to enroll them in school. This bill will amend the Public School Code to lower the compulsory age of attendance to six years of age. Research has suggested that when a child begins formal schooling at an earlier age, it can help their language and literacy skills, increase student achievement, and enhance social and emotional skill development. Lowering the compulsory age of school attendance to six will ensure that more children are getting an early start in education, as well as, decreasing the likelihood of them falling behind in the future.

This bill will also raise age of dropout from seventeen to eighteen years of age to encourage more students to earn their high school degree. In today’s economy, with more jobs requiring some form of post-secondary education or career training, a high school diploma is essential to financial security.

Lowering the compulsory age of attendance and raising the age of dropout will ensure students of the Commonwealth have the ability to participate in an education that will provide them with a better financial future. Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ardie Griffin in my office at 717-783-7313.

Introduced as SB642