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The Hamilton Spectator
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Ontario to deny licences to dropouts
Ontario has some American-style tough love in mind to discourage students from quitting high school.

Teens who drop out before turning 18 or graduating won't be able to get or keep a driver's licence under what critics are calling "punitive" and "hare-brained" legislation proposed yesterday by Education Minister Gerard Kennedy.

The idea, borrowed from several U.S. states, is the final piece of the government's plan to keep more teens in school. It would raise the age for mandatory school attendance to 18 from 16.

"This is the backstop," said Kennedy, who pledged to cut the 30 per cent dropout rate in half within five years.

"You stay in school, you enjoy certain privileges."

Kennedy has already announced new co-op programs, apprenticeships and specialized diplomas in areas like construction and the hospitality industry to encourage more teens to stay in school, especially those not interested in the academic stream. Source.

December 15, 2005