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Dec 21, 2010 5:53 PM by Associated Press

Montana school chief wants to raise compulsory age to 18

HELENA - Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says she will be asking lawmakers to increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years of age.

Juneau laid out her legislative plans to Gov. Brian Schweitzer in a meeting Tuesday.

Juneau says she thinks it is important to raise the expectation of school attendance. The schools chief says many students who drop out at 16 years of age do so because they know they can.

Juneau, a Democrat, says a Republican state senator has agreed to sponsor the plan.
Nationally, about half of the states set their cutoff age at 16 while the rest either have it at 17 or 18 years of age.

Juneau told Schweitzer she also will ask lawmakers to send a little more money to schools than the governor is seeking.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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