An Alabama Senate committee has voted to raise the school dropout age from 16 to 17.
The Senate Education Committee voted 4-1 for the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur. The bill drew support from the state Department of Education and several education organizations.
The bill would also require a student's parent or guardian to give signed approval for dropping out.
Orr said dropping out of school is one of the most important decisions a person will make and 16-year-olds are to young to realize the impact the decision will have on their life. His bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.