Students wouldn't be allowed to drop out of school before their 18th birthday under legislation that passed in the House Thursday.
Two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has been promoting the legislation for years, most recently in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech. The proposal would increase the dropout age incrementally from 16 to 18 over a period of years, giving both students and school districts time to adjust to the change.
The legislation now goes to the Senate. The Democratic-controlled House has approved the measure in past years, but it has yet to make it through the Republican majority in the Senate. Critics fear that classrooms would be disrupted by students who don't want to be in school.