AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill to improve Maine’s high school graduation rate awaited final committee votes before moving on to the House and Senate.
The sponsor, Sen. Justin Alfond, says Maine’s graduation rate is around 76 percent, with more than 3,000 students dropping out each year. The Portland Democrat wants to raise the graduation rate to 90 percent by the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Alfond is Senate chairman of the Education Committee, which held a hearing on the bill last week. No one spoke in opposition.
The bill would create a study group to develop strategies for increasing graduation rates. It would also analyze Maine’s policies on expulsion, suspension, zero tolerance and truancy, and raise the maximum age of mandatory school attendance from 17 to 18.