House Bill 2: Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age and More


Last Updated: March 28, 2011
House Bill 2: Raising the Compulsory Attendance Age and More
Multiple Representatives- Including Rep. Jeff Greer, Rep. Greg Stumbo, and Rep. Reginald Meeks

House Bill 2 was introduced in the 2011 special session for the Kentucky Legislature. The main section of HB 2 is very similar to a bill that was introduced in the 2011 general session earlier this year and didn't pass— House Bill 225. House Bill 2 will raise the compulsory school attendance age in Kentucky from 16 to 17 for the 2015-2016 school year, and then raise it again from 17 to 18 for 2016-2017 school year.

While some parts of House Bill 2 will not impact homeschooling families, raising the compulsory school attendance age would require parents to report to their local school district two years longer than they are currently required to.

Other sections of House Bill 2 involve requirements for early graduation from public school, allow the Kentucky Board of Education to develop alternative education programs

House Bill 225 passed the House and was sent to the Senate Education Committee. At least due in part to your phone calls and emails, no hearing was held for the bill.

HSLDA's Position:
Action Requested:
None at this time

3/14/2011 Introduced in House; to Education (H); taken from Education (H); 1st reading; returned to Education (H); posting waived
3/15/2011 Reported favorably, 2nd reading, to Rules
3/16/2011 Floor amendments (1) (2-title) (3) and (4) filed ; 3rd reading, passed 87 to 13
3/16/2011 Received in Senate
3/16/2011 Died in Senate


Raising the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 would subject Kentucky home educators to the demands of the homeschool law two years longer than now required. (You do not need to share this reason with your legislators.)

Raising the compulsory attendance age will not reduce the dropout rate. In fact, the two states with the highest high school completion rates, Maryland at 94.5% and North Dakota at 94.7%, compel attendance only to age 16. The state with the lowest completion rate (Oregon: 75.4%) compels attendance to age 18. (Figures are three-year averages,
1996 through 1998.)

Twenty-nine states only require attendance to age 16. Older children unwilling to learn can cause classroom disruptions and even violence, making learning harder for their classmates who truly want to learn.

It would restrict parents' freedom to decide if their 16-year-old is ready for college or the workforce. (Some 16-year-olds who are not academically inclined benefit more from valuable work experience than from being forced to sit in a classroom.)

Another significant impact of expanding the compulsory attendance age would be an inevitable tax increase to pay for more classroom space and teachers to accommodate the additional students compelled to attend public schools. When California raised the upper age limit of compulsory attendance, unwilling students were so disruptive that new schools had to be built just to handle them and their behavior problems, all at the expense of the taxpayer.

According the House fiscal note statement the estimated cost of raising the compulsory attendance age would be more than $26.5 million annually, beginning in 2015. However, this estimate does not include the cost of additional services for these students, additional personnel that will be needed, the matching cost for retirement of these personnel. There are several other indeterminable costs associated with this bill if it were to be passed.

For more information on compulsory attendance >>

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Bill Text

Bill History

House Bill 225: Raises Compulsory School Age