Murkowski Bill Helps Kids Keep Up, Not Drop Out

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski has introduced legislation to fight nationwide dropout rates by instituting preventative measures and proactively identifying the first signs of students sliding off-course – as early as Pre-K on through high school.  “No child wakes up one day and decides to drop out of school,” said Murkowski. “It starts as a bad day, turns into frustration over time and ends up as a trajectory in the wrong direction.”

Entitled the ‘Early Intervention for Graduation Success’ bill, Murkowski’s legislation would, if enacted, amend the current School Dropout Prevention provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  The Early Intervention for Graduation Success Act would direct competitive grants to states and school districts with the lowest graduation rates to fund effective, sustainable, and coordinated school dropout prevention activities

“Some may ask why I focus on toddlers and elementary school kids if we’re trying to solve the high school dropout problem facing our nation,” said Murkowski, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “The reason is simple: That’s when children’s troubles in school begin. This bill is an educational guardrail to get at-risk kids on track early and keep them moving forward – it helps schools identify those children who are starting to fall off track as soon as possible and helps schools provide individualized, effective interventions.

Partnerships of school districts and early learning providers would develop and update individual learning plans for students with dropout risk factors and ensure that those plans are updated each year from preschool through high school.  Partnerships would also choose from a menu of research-based options to improve services to these children.