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State Compulsory School Attendance Laws

Here's a list of each U.S. state's compulsory school attendance laws and the date they were implemented.

StateEnactment1Compulsory
attendance,
2013
Alabama19156–16
Alaska19297–16
Arizona18996–16
Arkansas19095–17
California18746–18
Colorado18896–17
Connecticut18725–18
Delaware19075–16
District of Columbia18645–18
Florida19156–16
Georgia19166–16
Hawaii18966–18
Idaho18877–16
Illinois18837–17
Indiana18977–16
Iowa19026–16
Kansas18747–18
Kentucky18966–16
Louisiana19107–18
Maine18757–172
Maryland19025–16
Massachusetts18526–16
Michigan18716–16
Minnesota18857–16
Mississippi19186–17
Missouri19057–16
Montana18837–16
Nebraska18876–18
Nevada18737–18
New Hampshire18716–16
New Jersey18756–16
New Mexico18915–18
New York18746–16
North Carolina19077–16
North Dakota18837–16
Ohio18776–18
Oklahoma19075–18
Oregon18897–18
Pennsylvania18958–17
Rhode Island18836–183
South Carolina19155–17
South Dakota18836–184
Tennessee19056–17
Texas19156–18
Utah18906–18
Vermont18676–16
Virginia19085–18
Washington18718–18
West Virginia18976–16
Wisconsin18796–18
Wyoming18767–16
NOTE: (—) = not available.
1. Date of enactment of first compulsory attendance law.
2. In Maine, students must be at least 5 years old before October 15, or 4 years old by October 15 if they are enrolled in a public preschool program prior to kindergarten (where offered).
3. In Rhode Island, the compulsory age is 16 if a student has an alternative learning plan for obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent.
4. In South Dakota, the compulsory age limit is 16 if a child enrolls in a general education development test preparation program that is school-based or for which a school contracts, and the child successfully completes the test or reaches the age of 18.
Source: Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, 2004.

 

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