School Dropout Age Stays at 16

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A bill to require students to stay in school until they are 18 or have graduated has failed in a Senate committee.

Senate Bill 44 failed to move out of the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee after a 5-5 vote Monday.

Montana’s legal dropout age is 16. Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau supported the bill to require students to stay in school until “age 18 or upon graduation.” She says her office supported the bill because they thought it was important to set an expectation that every student graduate from high school. She says she plans to bring the bill back during the next legislative session.

Juneau says more than 2,000 Montana students in grades seven through 12 drop out of school every year.

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