Senate votes to raise dropout age

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama Senate committee has voted to raise the school dropout age from 16 to 17.

The Senate Education Committee voted 4-1 for the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur.

The bill drew support from the state Department of Education and several education organizations.

The bill would also require a student's parent or guardian to give signed approval for dropping out. Orr said dropping out of school is one of the most important decisions a person will make and 16-year-olds are too young to realize the impact the decision will have on their life.

His bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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