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Montgomery County Calling For Mandatory Schooling For Minors

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Montgomery County's school board is pressing to increase Maryland's age for mandatory school attendance from 16 to 18 to improve graduation rates.
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Montgomery County's school board is pressing to increase Maryland's age for mandatory school attendance from 16 to 18 to improve graduation rates.

Montgomery County's school board is pressing to increase Maryland's age for mandatory school attendance from 16 to 18 to improve graduation rates.

The board voted unanimously on the measure calling for the change Monday night. But only state lawmakers can increase the age at which students can drop out of school.

Montgomery County officials say the graduation rate in the state's largest school system has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade. The graduation rate fell to 87 percent last spring from a high of 93 percent in 2003. More than a quarter of the students who drop out in Montgomery County are 16 or 17 years old. Superintendent Jerry Weast says raising the dropout age would help some students make it to graduation.

Such efforts have failed before in the general assembly.

Meymo Lyons reports...

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