Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: December 2, 2008
Sen. Kenneth Corn
Corn Plans Legislation to Address Dropout Crisis
Sen. Kenneth Corn has announced plans
to file legislation that would prohibit students under the age of
18 from dropping out of school. The measure would also implement
a Statewide Truancy Court Program, providing every District Attorney
in the state with a truancy officer. The proposal is supported by
the Oklahoma District Attorney’s Council, Corn noted.
Corn said reducing Oklahoma’s dropout rate is critical to
ensuring future economic growth in the state.
“We have to do everything in our power to ensure that students
stay in school until they graduate,” said Corn, D-Poteau.
“Education can open countless doors to students, and it’s
critical in our efforts to build an educated workforce and attract
industry. We simply can’t continue to write these students
off – it’s time for us to take action.”
Pointing to recent statistics showing that approximately 29 percent
of Oklahoma students failed to graduate, Corn said the figure has
a direct correlation with per capita income. Studies have shown
that the lifetime earning difference between a high school graduate
and a dropout is an estimated $260,000.
Investing in a properly educated citizenry, Corn said, is the best
way to foster economic growth in Oklahoma.
“The emotional, cultural and economic costs associated with
this crisis are immeasurable,” Corn said. “The cost
to our state measures into the billions. We can, and must do better.”
Additionally, the measure will include provisions that will provide
at-risk students with alternatives to basic academic instruction,
allowing them to learn marketable job skills. The secondary options
would provide students with a safety net in the event that they
do not earn their high school diploma.
A similar proposal was authored by Sen. Kathleen Wilcoxson in the
2008 legislative session. Corn, who co-authored the legislation,
credited Wilcoxson for her efforts to improve Oklahoma’s public
“Sen. Wilcoxson carried the torch on this issue for years,
and did so admirably,” Corn said. “It’s my hope
that we can bridge partisan divides and approve this common sense
For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office: (405) 521-5576