Representative Kevin Chambliss (D-Homestead), co-prime sponsor Representative Susan Valdés (D-Tampa), and Senator Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami) filed House Bill 961 and Senate Bill 992. This proposal revises the required age for compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years of age. The bill aims to deter high school drop-outs, and steer students towards graduation and receiving their high school diploma.
“This bill is just as much about juvenile intervention as it is about education. Juveniles 16-18 are some of the most vulnerable youth in our community – as evidenced by many negative statistics. During this time in their lives, they are faced with so many negative influences, including recruitment from the criminal element, low self-esteem, and pressure to choose what they will do next in their life. This bill secures continued educational support for our youth through 18, hopefully giving them the best opportunity to start adulthood with the best chance of success possible,” said Representative Chambliss.
“I am happy to carry this bill alongside my colleague, Representative Kevin Chambliss. This bill is a workforce development bill. It is a manner of relieving the workforce issues we are facing in the State of Florida. Opportunities must be available for every student to succeed by removing the ability to drop out of school at 16. Giving them options of a career choice, either via an apprenticeship program or technical career, while earning their diploma and building a much stronger community that flourishes and prospers through an education. Our children need to remember my motto, ‘Education can never be erased,’” stated Representative Valdés.
“I believe that we should give our children the best chance at succeeding. Making sure that we don’t cut short or leave them behind of the opportunity to finish High School is a part of that success. This bill addresses the need of getting all our children the ability to get across that finish line. We can’t give up on the success of our future generations, one child who is left behind is too many. This bill goes a long way to addressing the goal of the educational success of all.” added Senator Calatayud.