Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two bills on Friday to continue the Dropout Recovery Program, which is designed to help schools identify students who have dropped out of school and help them finish their high school degrees.
The program was started in 2012 and allows school districts to work together to help students finish their high school diplomas while allowing the districts to share the cost of the program.
“Every student deserves a pathway to a great education that can get them on a path to success despite the setbacks they may have encountered along the way,” Whitmer said in a statement on Friday. “That’s why it’s so important to continue opportunities, like the Dropout Recovery Program, for students to reconnect and re-engage with educators across the state to complete their degree.”
More than 500,000 students drop out of high school annually and more than 2 million of those ages 16 to 24 do not have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The bills extending the Dropout Recovery Program were sponsored by Sen. Lana Theis (R-22-Brighton) and Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-11-Southfield).
Moss said that he has seen the program help students in his own district.
“We need to provide all the tools possible for every Michigander to earn their high school diploma so that they are prepared to compete in Michigan’s economy,” Moss said in a statement. “These bills provide Michigan public schools the option of continuing to participate in the Dropout Recovery Program, which has successfully provided a path for nearly 200 students in my district to graduate from high school.”
The bills extend the sunset period of the current program, as well as add reporting requirements to the state to help evaluate students’ progress.
“As lawmakers, we have an obligation to support the education of students in our state to help prepare them to achieve future success,” Theis said in a statement. “The Dropout Recovery Program is an important part of achieving that goal, and my legislation will ensure the program can continue in its efforts to help more students earn a high school diploma, while saving districts money.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]