Maryland is joining a growing number of states that require students to attend school until age 18. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the age of compulsory school attendance will increase from 16 to 17 for any child who turns 16 on or after July 1, 2015. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the age of compulsory school attendance will increase from 17 to 18 for any child who turns 17 on or after July 1, 2017.
The Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation in 2012 to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17, followed by an increase to age 18, with several contingencies (Senate Bill 363, Chapter 494, 2012 Laws of Maryland). Exemptions in the legislation include students who are home-schooled, pregnant or have already obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
Director of Student Services Kim Roof said that the new legislation will ensure that more students receive the skills necessary to pursue a career or post-secondary education. She said, “We never want to give up on students. We want them to stay in school with us to maximize their future opportunities.”
The dropout rate in Calvert County Public Schools ranked among the lowest in the state for the graduating class of 2014, with only 4.01%—or 55 students in a cohort of 1,371—dropping out of school. The Dropout Rate that Maryland has previously reported is called the Annual Grade 9-12 Dropout Rate. However, federal law now requires that Maryland use an adjusted cohort dropout rate. The four–year adjusted cohort dropout rate is defined as the number of students who leave school, for any reason other than death, within the four-year period divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort.