ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s high school dropout age would rise from 16 to 17 in 2015, under a measure that has passed the House of Delegates.

The House voted 88-49 for the bill on Thursday.

The age of compulsory school attendance would rise to 18 in 2017.

Maryland students can now choose to leave school when they are 16.

About 9,500 students have dropped out of Maryland public schools each year on average in the last decade. State analysts estimate the state will spend about $35 million more in fiscal year 2016 due to higher enrollment counts, if the bill is approved.

A similar bill has passed the Senate. Differences between the measures will need to be worked out before Monday’s adjournment of the General Assembly.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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