Committee: Education PolicySponsor: Whatley
Analyst: Daniel DavenportDate: 04/05/2021



Senate Bill 355 as introduced (1) raises the maximum age for mandatory school attendance from 17 years of age to 18 years of age; (2) raises the age for children that wish to withdraw from public school prior to graduation to 18; and (3) provides that a person under the age of 20 may not be denied admission to public school based solely on their age. The provisions of this bill could increase the costs of the Foundation Program, paid from the Education Trust Fund, by an estimated $5,400 (for FY 2022) for each child between the ages of 17 and 18 that remain in school rather than dropping out and for each child between the ages of 17 and 20 that elect to remain in school.

Based on information provided by the State Department of Education, if 10% of the estimated number of dropouts during the 2020 school year remained in school, the estimated cost would be $580,000. If all the estimated dropouts remained in school, the cost would be an estimated $5.8 million. During the first year, the increased obligations would fall on the local boards of education since the Foundation Program formula is based on the previous year's average daily membership.

 Tim Melson, Chairperson
Education Policy