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As Dropout Age Changes, the Kentucky Education Department Is Keeping an Eye on Homeschooling

Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons
Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons
Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

The Kentucky Education Department will closely monitor data as the state's dropout age increases to 18 for most public schools next academic year.

Of special interest: the number of students who opt out for homeschooling, said Education Commissioner Terry Holliday.

Currently, less than 1 percent of the public school population is opting out each year, he said.

The education department will use that number to measure against future data.

“We want to carefully monitor and makes sure that we don’t see a significant spike in home school," said Holliday.

The agency will primarily monitor students age 16 and above, who will soon be required to stay in public school, he said.

Holliday said he doesn't expect there to be any administrators or principals who would try and convince students to opt out for home school. But he commented at last week's state school board meeting that Gov.  Steve Beshear had heard some concerns from some superintendents over the matter.

“It’s our responsibility as a state agency to closely monitor the situation," said Holliday.

He said the other data the education department should monitor includes:


  • Rentention: how many students are not passing grades
  • Career and technical programs
  • Monitoring alternative programs closer
  • Monitor behavior, like suspension and expulsions