Alabama senator wants to raise school dropout age

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Republican state Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur is proposing legislation to raise Alabama's school dropout age from 16 to 17.

The increase in age is part of a comprehensive bill that would also require schools to conduct an exit interview with a dropout and a parent or guardian. The Southern Education Foundation estimates Alabama's dropout rate at 41 percent for 2007.

Orr says raising the age for dropping out will bring Alabama in line with a majority of the states. Alabama is one of 24 states with a dropout age of 16. The other states require either 17 or 18.

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