From the Office of Governor John Lynch
Gov. John Lynch announced today that 250 educators, elected officials, parents, students, and business and community leaders from across New Hampshire will gather on March 13th in Concord for a statewide summit to discuss strategies for increasing New Hampshire's high school graduation rate.
Gov. Lynch, joined by bipartisan legislative co-sponsors, has proposed legislation to increase the state's compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.
"New Hampshire's young people need high school diplomas to have the opportunity for good jobs and better lives, and New Hampshire needs an educated workforce for our economy to continue to grow and thrive,"Gov. Lynch said.
"But last year an estimated 2,300 of our students dropped out of high school. We must make it clear to our young people that we are not going to give up on them; or let them give up on themselves. We must change the law and require our children to stay in school until age 18,"Gov. Lynch said.
"I recognize that changing the compulsory attendance age is only one part of the solution. Across our state, there are programs working successfully to keep our young people in school. This summit is an important opportunity for us to share ideas and consider what other steps we must take to ensure every New Hampshire child receives a high school diploma,"Gov. Lynch said.
Summit participants will break into work groups to discuss a number of potential strategies and issues related to increasing New Hampshire's graduation rate, including the roles of alternative learning programs, career and technical education, internships and apprenticeships, and community and social service support programs; law enforcement's efforts to ensure safe learning environments and enforce compulsory attendance laws; ensuring a quality high school learning experience; identifying at-risk students early and ensuring quality pre-high school education; and the roles and responsibilities of parents and students.
The Summit, organized in conjunction with the Department of Education, will feature presenters from successful alternative and vocational programs, the business community, law enforcement, community support programs, and education.
"Increasing the compulsory school age sends the message to every New Hampshire student that a high school diploma is an essential first step to long-term success and happiness. I am pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Governor Lynch to convene individuals across New Hampshire to motivate all New Hampshire youth to obtain a high school diploma,"Commissioner Tracy said.
The "Governor's Summit on High School Graduation: 16-18 - Reducing the Drop-Out Rate in New Hampshire"will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord.