Rep. Bartlett: Keep Kids In School Until Age 18

Rep. Jason Bartlett stopped by MLN today to talk with readers about his proposed bill which would require students to stay in school until age 18.

I have some reservations about that idea–not least of which is that kids who don’t want to be in school tend to make everyone’s lives pretty miserable. But the conversation over there is interesting to read.


10 responses to “Rep. Bartlett: Keep Kids In School Until Age 18

  1. And will this law require these reluctant students to do anything, or act in a civil way? I suppose we will need more alternative programs to entice them to attend and more adults to keep the group under control.

    If there are students making learning difficult for others who follow the rules it is time to assist learning and not support rabble rousers how keep others from their highest success.

    For too long students who act appropriately see those who ‘need help’ for bad behavior get small groups, extra instruction, TLC and multiple chances to reform that do not work. Meanwhile the acting out students disrupt the learning and cause others to wonder why they behave and get no attention.

    There used to be a spot for such students to make a choice to enter the military at 17. There many learned to organize their lives and accept the need for authority. The military in turn received some young people who were bright and energetic. Some to the best units (at least in the British military) had some rabble rousers who had skills necessary to make progress in certain arenas.

    Even though we now have a highly skilled and technical military, I am sure there are duties for these reluctant students, bound for juvenile detention.

    Let’s resurrect a military area that will benefit from these students and not cost school districts to house them. Given a viable choice will be a help for everyone even when they don’t take it.

  2. I read the article quick and may have missed it, but… what’s the enforcement mechanism? Throw the kids in jail?

    I saw the part about the state reclaiming ECS funds six mos later, but that would be more about encouraging schools to encourage kids to stay. And the piece seemed to me to be clearly written as a requirement for kids to stay in school.

  3. GC~ Doesn’t CT have a number of students in high schools who have difficulty in the traditional high school setting?

    While I would be the first to agree that we need to keep those students in school, CT needs a plan to address the needs of students who do not necessarily fit into the traditional high school setting.

    As with most issues, funding becomes the central factor. We need funded alternative programs for those students or a way of funding their attendance in neighboring district programs. We may also look for a regional answer to this question. However, my fear is yet another unfunded mandate with which the local districts will need to comply.

    GC~ Bartlett’s bill tries fit a square peg in a round hole. This type of reactionary shortsighted legislation will only create a more difficult learning environment for those that wish to be in school.

  4. And if you happen to graduate high school at age 16 or 17? Do we get an extra year or two in Bartlett High?

  5. What would seem to me to be a more productive line of thinking would be finding a way for all the school systems in this state to make up for the endless 90 minutes delays we see all school year.

    Without a doubt the biggest expense in each city and town budget is the BOE budget. We all hear how investing in education is investing in our future, and I certainly can’t find a good reason to disagree with that logic. But between all the vacations, the holidays, the snow days, and all the 90 minutes delays I simply cannot see how we could expect to get the best bang for our buck. It’s not like the school day is all that long to begin with, and then to chop 90 minutes off it and still consider it a full day, to meet some state mandated number is just absurd. If it happened once or twice a year OK, but it seems these days it happens way too much.

  6. HH: “And if you happen to graduate high school at age 16 or 17? Do we get an extra year or two in Bartlett High?”

    The bill says students can’t “drop out” before age 18. Doesn’t say they have to stay in school after graduation.

    But then, you knew that.

  7. Money , money, it’s all about the money.
    If you had to make up for 90 minute delays, perhaps 4 a year?
    then you pay for another day of heat, electricity, diesel, buses and drivers, 10 month staff that is paid for only the says they work, each day is costly to make up. Yearly contracts end June 30th. and truthfully, parents won’t end their kids if it was not in the original calendar- they have to be at Disney, it cuts into their vacation plans…
    School is no longer the priority it once was in families.

    There certainly is a lot more to adding a day than meets the eye.

  8. I am only guessing that this “idea” is a replay of the high school movement of the depression. Prior to the 30’s it was not common for towns to educate beyond the elementary level, but due to the enormous unemployment, a movement occurred to keep young men in school to prevent their entry into the already crowded job markets.

  9. retiredyes, You say “Money , money, it’s all about the money.”

    No it’s not retiredyes, It’s supposed to be all about a great education.

    Aren’t we always told by our BOE’s that our kids educations are so important that to even consider cutting their budget increases each year is the equivalent of risking their education?

    I happen to agree we need lots of money to provide those educations, so IMO anyway it is not about money. All I am suggesting is we taxpayers who provide that money for the purpose of giving our kids the best education possible get what we are paying for. Oh and BTW what about the kids themselves?

    IMO each 90 minute delay really results in another lost school day, however one that the state does not require the school systems to make up. If you take 90 minutes of classroom instruction out of the actual school day, how much classroom instruction is really left that day? In my neck of the woods the 90 minute delays seem to be happening more than just 4 times a year as well.

    Do you think that if the teachers didn’t get paid for those lost 90 minutes each delayed opening that they would be saying “hey no big deal” ? If every dollar approved in each BOE budget each year is so critical to the goal of a good education, isn’t every minute of classroom instruction at least just as critical?

    Don’t you think at least at the high school level across the state some consideration should be given to the idea that when there is a late opening, the day is extended by the amount of that late opening to give the kids a full day of classroom instruction?

    Why does that have to cost us any money? The teachers are paid the same either way, so are the bus drivers, and the heat and lights are already on. It doesn’t have to be about money retiredyes, it should be however all about a good education.

  10. Republitarian

    Yet another piece of absurd legislation.
    Let’s keep these kids chained to the school radiators why don’t we.

    And they wonder why these kids are suicidal???
    Try attending some of these schools for a day and you will soon learn why these kids want out.
    The schools suck.
    Why are we forcing people who don’t want to be there to be there?

    There is nothing like a statist piece of crap legislation like this that will do more to create more frustrated and angry kids.

    Face it America, our schools have become jails and k-12 is a jail sentence.
    How incredibly sad and pathetic.
    How incredibly horrific for our country.
    Can you not understand that when you treat your young like dumbed down criminals that that is precisely what they turn into.

    Read it:

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