Obama proposal to raise dropout age falls flat

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By SHANNON MCFARLAND, Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Back in January, President Barack Obama called for states to raise the minimum age at which students can drop out of high school. But almost six months later, his idea seems about as popular as a homework assignment on Friday afternoon.

Only one state has raised its dropout age to 18, and that won't take effect for five years.

Even legislators in Obama's home state of Illinois wouldn't go along with his proposal, despite an endorsement from the governor. They quickly dumped the issue into the limbo of a special study commission after it became clear there wasn't enough money to support it.

One of the biggest problems is the cost. It's expensive to provide extra counseling and remedial courses to potential dropouts.

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