House Bill 373, legislation to increase the statewide age of compulsory public school attendance, was passed by the House of Delegates this morning, following some extended debate. The final vote on the bill in the House was 88-49. Similar legislation has passed the Senate, suggesting that the proposal is likely to become law, and will take effect beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
The bill has been amended to deal with a number of concerns, require several reports, and to extend its effective date. The bill’s fiscal note estimates the additional state costs phasing toward roughly $50 million per year, with required county contributions in roughly the same magnitude.
MACo opposed the legislation, citing cost concerns – both on the county funding obligations, and on the state’s structural deficit currently driving massive cosh shifts to counties.