BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- How old should a teenager be before he is allowed to drop out of school? Tuesday night the school board voted unanimously to support new legislation that would raise the dropout age. A bill in the general assembly would increase the dropout age from 16 to 18. Officials in Brunswick County hope it will keep kids in school. Parents and school administrators are divided on the issue. Some think it's a good idea - others worry about how schools will enforce the new policy. Some parents say they're concerned that forcing unmotivated students to stay in school will create classroom distractions. Brunswick county school board members say students often drop out because they are eager to earn money. Brunswick County School Board member Shirley Babson said, "In this county, there are plenty of opportunities for kids, when they're sixteen, to drop out of school and go to work." Brunswick School Board members are now talking about a reason to keep students in school. They want to create more vocational programs within the school curriculum that will teach students skills and allow them to earn a degree. Brunswick county school administrators and board members will be going to Raleigh next week to lobby for the proposed age hike.
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