Senate And House Struggle With Proposal To Raise School Attendance Age

North Carolina lawmakers are trying to figure out if it would do more harm than good to raise the age high school students can drop out.

Bills are pending in the House and Senate to legally oblige students to stay in school until they are 18, unless they get a diploma earlier.

Now, students can drop out at age 16.

A Senate committee today gave its blessing to one of the measures, but members expressed some of the same reservations heard yesterday in a House committee that took --no-- action on its bills.

They asked whether forcing unwilling older teens to remain in class would cause discipline problems, and questioned whether simply raising the age would do anything to help the underlying issues that make teens quit school.