House Approves Dropout Bill

The Kentucky House has again agreed to raise the age at which students may drop out of school.  It’s the third time the House has voted that way.

When Governor Beshear called a special session to balance the Medicaid budget, he also placed raising the state’s drop out age to 18 on the agenda. The House has twice approved the bill, only to see if die in the Senate. Representative Jeff Greer of Brandenburg is the primary sponsor.

“If you do not have a high school diploma, you’re going to earn $6,800 less than a high school graduate annually. Lifetime earnings – one without a high school diploma will earn $327,000 less than one with a high school diploma,” he says.

But opponents argue the bill is an unfunded mandate that does not provide school districts with any money for alternative school programs. On its third try, the bill passed the House 87-13, and heads to the Senate

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.