Montana Public Radio

Two Education Bills On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Jan 20, 2015

Credit William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Wednesday at the Capitol, Montana legislators hear two “sister bills" on education. Senate Bill 12 gives funding to 19-year-olds trying to finish high school, while Senate Bill 14 raises the legal high school dropout age from 16 to 18.

Democratic Senators Mary Sheehy Moe and Robyn Driscoll are sponsoring the bills, which Driscoll said would give parents another way to keep their kids in school.

“If a kid says, ‘I’m not putting on my seatbelt mom,' well, yes you are because it's the law. And, ‘I’m not going to school mom.' Yeah you are because it’s the law.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau asked for both, though her proposal to raise the dropout age has died three times before.

Republican Senator Mark Blasdel is vice chair of the committee hearing the bill and says he voted a similar bill down four years ago. However, he says changes to the new bill could change the outcome.