Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 1997
Contact: Chris Ward
(512) 463-0112

DROPOUT AGE BILL CLEARS HOUSE

AUSTIN - State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, reported that the Texas House today passed her bill to raise the high school droupout age to 18. Currently, a student may drop out of school at age 17 even if the student's parents do not give their consent.

"This bill restores a parental right by closing a big loophole," Nelson said. "Under the Texas Family Code, parents are responsible for a child until the child turns 18. Today your 17-year-old child can drop out of school against your wishes and you are still responsible for providing support."

Senate Bill 247 requires students to stay in school until they reach their 18th birthday. Students who are enrolled in a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program or who are home-schooled are exempted from the provision. An amendment was added to the bill in the House meaning the Senate and House will have to agree on the final version before the bill is sent to the Governor's desk.

"Texas parents know that their kids will need at least a high school diploma to succeed in tomorrow's workplace. This change gives parents the legal backing they need to encourage their children to finish school," Nelson commented.

Top