Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bill Would Create 'Graduation Coaches'

With over 5,000 students dropping out of high school every year in Oklahoma, the governor finds it necessary to implement a 'graduation coaches' program designed to prevent more students from dropping out in the future.

Democratic Gov. Brad Henry said his new program, which is embodied in House Bill 1050, would allow schools to recruit mentors to help students combat obstacles that may prevent them from graduating which includes mentoring both academically as well as helping students cope with emotional issues.

“Within every community in Oklahoma are caring, talented and intelligent people who can make a real difference in the lives of our students,”Henry said. “The graduation coaches will give them that opportunity.”

Georgia implemented a similiar plan in 2006, and has seen results with a 3.1 percent increase in high school graduates from 2006 to 2008. This may lead to not just more students graduating high school, but more students attending higher educational institutions such as OU.

The plan passed the House with a 94-1 vote. The bill is now in the Senate where it is expected to pass before the legislative session ends in May.

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