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Survey: Kentucky Parents Favor Increasing Dropout Age

Reported by: Tom Kenny
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Updated: 1/28/2013 7:23 pm

Kentucky parents overwhelmingly favor increasing the state's high school dropout age, according to the Kentucky Parent Survey. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky released the polling data, along with a comprehensive summary report for the complete survey, Monday.

“People may not realize that education is a health issue, but research tells us that completing high school is directly related to our health status in later life,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

On the dropout issue, more than eight in ten Kentucky parents (85%) said they favor increasing the dropout age in Kentucky from 16 to 18 years old. 

This includes the 77% who indicated they strongly favor moving the dropout age to 18.  Fewer than one in six parents (15%) said they opposed increasing Kentucky’ dropout age.

Currently the dropout age in Kentucky is 16.  However, the governor has publicly  stated his support for increasing the dropout age to 18, which would prohibit students from leaving school until they turn 18, or complete high school.

“Increasing the dropout age is one strategy aimed at improving the graduation rate in the state,” noted Zepeda.  “We hope this polling data will encourage a deeper conversation among parents, education experts, and policy makers to explore this and other strategies to help our children succeed at school and lead a more healthy life.”

Overall, the Kentucky Parent Survey provides a snapshot of parental views on a number of issues including health care, school and home life. 

The first report was released in September of last year.  Kentucky Parent Survey reports, including the summary report, are available on our website: http://www.healthy-ky.org.

The Kentucky Parent Survey assessed the views of parents, step-parents, grandparents, foster parents or other legal guardians of children in Kentucky.

The Parent Survey was conducted in July and August by the Center for Survey Research at the University of Virginia.  More than 1,000 parents and guardians of children under 18 from throughout the state were interviewed by phone.  The survey has a margin of error of ±3%. 

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