Governor Chet Culver Thursday urged legislators to raise the legal drop out age before they end the session. The current drop out age is 16, but Culver agrees with those who say it should be raised to 17. Culver says as a former teacher, he knows that "the higher we set the bar for our young people, I believe the higher they will be able to reach."
Culver says he has first-hand experience with kids who were at risk for dropping out. Culver says he taught drop out prevention at Roosevelt High School, and he says by raising the bar and putting higher expectations on kids, they’ll be more likely to stay in school. Some lawmakers have objected to raising the drop out age, unless there’s more money to go with it for drop out prevention programs.
Culver says, "But I think it’s time. I mean this is a new 21st century global economy were raising the bar in terms of curriculum standards I think it fits in nicely with our focus on educational excellence." Culver says raising the drop out age is a natural follow up to legislation approved last year that increased graduation standards for high schools.