Editorial: Dealing with Drop Outs

To stop losing a third of all high school students in the state each year to drop outs, Congressman Artur Davis advocates taking their driver's licenses.

He also says if elected governor, he would advocate taking licenses from students who are disruptive in school or violent toward teachers or fellow students.

And he would push raising the drop out age to 18, from the 17 it just was raised to this year, offer families that meet eligibility requirements an annual $500 tax credit if their child stays in school and out of trouble, and establish after-school programs that provide character development.

Candidate Bradley Byrne advocates sweeping tenure reform to rid schools of people who are unqualified to teach our children and advocates creating charter schools.

Candidate Tim James wants a guaranteed slot to an Alabama college for every high school graduate with a B average and acceptable ACT scores.

Candidate Ron Sparks wants to create a LifeStart Scholarship for every C average or better high school graduate to an Alabama public university, two year college or technical program of their choice and pay for it through a Lottery.

Candidate Bill Johnson wants to lower the rate of drop-outs by working with at-risk youth and transitioning them to dual-enrollment technical training courses at local community colleges.

Taking effective action to deal with drop-outs is a major issue for us all and we encourage all gubernatorial candidates to speak out on it.

We also encourage high school students to encourage your classmates to stay in school.  This would be welcome peer pressure!