Illinois bill would revoke licenses/permits of high school dropouts

| 4/10/2006

In addition to losing out on a diploma, dropping out of high school in Illinois soon could cost teens their driver’s licenses or learner’s permits.

The state’s Senate unanimously approved a bill that would take high school dropouts driving privileges away until they re-enroll or turn 18 years old. The bill – HB1463 – also would revoke licenses of students with 18 or more unexcused absences.

At least 11 states have similar rules, the Rockford Register Star reported.

“I think we all recognize the issue and the problem of dropout that we have in secondary education,” Sen. Frank Watson, R-Greenville, told The Quad-City Times. “This is an attempt to try to address that.”

Watson said dropouts are more likely to end up in jail, so these types of deterrents are needed.

According to The Times, more than 45,000 students were chronically truant in Illinois a year ago, and there were 85,000 dropouts.

The bill, which was already approved by the House, has been forwarded to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s desk.