A bill to require all Minnesota students to stay in school until age 18 has passed its first committee test.
Minnesota is one of several states looking at raising the age from 16 to 18 to reduce high school dropouts. Supporters say it would help more young people become productive citizens.
At its first hearing yesterday, officials from the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts spoke in favor.
But Tom Dooher, president of the teachers' union Education Minnesota, said he's skeptical that the change would make a difference, unless districts provide more vocational programs and alternative learning centers to encourage kids to continue their education.
The Senate Education Committee approved the bill and passed it on to the Judiciary Committee.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)