All of the United States have a law that defines the acceptable age for children to drop-out of school. It's easy for a child who reaches this magical age to go to school sign some papers and, >>>Booooom<<< their education is finished. Many never sign out. They just stop going to school. School systems almost never go after them to sign the paper work. What a shame.
Children who drop out have no liability for just walking away. They can get public assistance and put a burden on tax-payers who support them. They usually get menial jobs and end up having kids who don't do well either. I'm not just talking about drop-outs who have learning problems. I am not going to get into the extended argument about school contributions to drop-out such as multiple grade retentions that have been researched and repeatedly demonstrated to be a failed way to improve student performance (in the long run). The process that allows children to drop-out needs to change.
Rule 1. Never refuse a child the opportunity to make the choice.
Rule 2. Require the child to learn what the choice means.
Every child who wants to drop out must be required to complete an assignment as a part of the process. The completed assignment is signed by the child, and placed in the child's record. The school reviews the assignment to make certain that every aspect of it is complete, interviews the child to make certain that he or she actually wrote it by asking the questions that were answered in the report, returning it to the child if it has been determined that they did not complete it and having them "try again" until they actually do it, and, finally, a school administrator signs it.
1. Read the newspaper "Help Wanted" section and find a job that they could get without a high school diploma. The salary must be listed in the advertisement or they must get a written copy of the salary offer from the potential employer. This must be included with the report.
2. Using math skills that they have learned in school, they must calculate their monthly salary after taxes and social security are taken out.
3. Read the newspaper again. Go to the advertisements for places to live. Find a place to live that costs the least, leaving them enough money to pay for the extras such as electric, heat (oil or gas, for example), and cell phone service.
4. Add together the rent, and the extras. Subtract that amount from the monthly income from the job after taxes. How much is left? That is the amount needed to buy food.
5. Forget about cable television, eating out, going on dates, etc.
6. Go shopping for food but don't buy anything. Add up the prices of what you might eat in a week. Multiply it by 4 or 5 (the number of weeks in a month). Subtract that from the remains of your monthly wages.
7. Now, think about how you are going to get to work. Add up the cost of transportation. Do you have any money left after buying food?
Determine how much money you can get from public assistance (aka, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc.). Complete the above task using the total amount of money that this turns out to be.
Go to the newspaper, and find the salaries of jobs requiring a high school diploma, or more education. Determine everything from Part I above. Make a choice.
Final question: If everyone was receiving public assistance (welfare, food stamps, etc.), who would pay for it?