SOUTH KINGSTOWN –A male high school graduate who works until age 65 will earn, on average, nearly $333,000 more than a high school dropout, while a worker with some college education will earn $538,000 more according to a report by Education and Synthetic Work-Life Earnings. These are some of the statistics South Kingstown guidance counselors and principals will use to convince students to finish their education after state law changed regarding when a student can withdraw from school.
Rhode Island law now requires that every child between the ages of 16 and 18 regularly attend school. To comply with state law, the South Kingstown High School guidance department updated its protocol. At Tuesday’s school committee meeting, high school Principal Robert McCarthy and guidance director Rose Majeika explained that a waiver to the new requirement may be granted by the superintendent upon proof that the student is 16 years of age or older and has an approved alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent. Alternative learning plans shall include age-appropriate academic rigor.
“We see a lot of this already at South Kingstown High School. We see a number of kids continuing on and getting their GED,” McCarthy said. “We’re making sure that they are pursuing education to a point where they are competitive in the current work force.”
According to state law, the student’s withdrawal from high school must be due to documented financial hardship and the need of the student to be employed to support the family or a dependent or documented illness. Other exceptions include an order of a court that has jurisdiction over the student or the development of an approved alternative plan which includes the student’s and parent’s/guardian’s acknowledgement that withdrawal from school is likely to reduce the student’s future earnings and increase the likelihood of being unemployed in the future
.If a student wishes to withdraw from school, he or she must follow certain criteria.
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