Minn. Bill Would Block Dropouts’ Driver’s Licenses

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A bill under consideration in the Minnesota Legislature would try to keep teenagers in high school by blocking driver’s licenses for dropouts.

The Star Tribune reported Tuesday that the bill has bipartisan support, including from Republican Sen. Gen Olson, who heads the Senate Education Committee. The bill hasn’t had a hearing yet.

Democratic Rep. Carlos Mariani of St. Paul is sponsoring the legislation in the House. He says driving is a privilege and the state should try to keep students in school.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s office told the paper he hasn’t reviewed the proposal.

At least 20 other states, including Wisconsin and Illinois, link school attendance and driving privileges.

The Minnesota Education Department says more than 4,000 high school students dropped out in 2009, or 5.6 percent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Artist

    This is a great idea! Those that do drop out usually are headed down the wrong road already. This would be a great way to keep all teens on the upswing.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Some drop-outs choose to work, they should have a work permit available for drop-outs who have a job.

    Public Schools are depressing and political.

    • Tom


  • Eric Jaffa

    It’s OK to stop people who can drive well from getting licenses, because driving is a privilege.

    And it’s OK for the TSA to randomly choose plane passengers to grope, because flying is a privilege.

    And it’s OK for the TSA to randomly choose train passengers to search, because riding a train is a privilege.

    When someone opposes freedom, the word “privilege” is a slimy way of trying to make the opposition to freedom seem acceptable.

  • jfscsd

    Without a question you think this is a good idea…
    Here is a list of people who have dropped out of high school…
    I find it interesting that the government wants to keep people in school..

    H.G. Wells…….best-selling British author
    Jim Clark……..self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of “Netscape”
    Jimmy Dean……….singer-songwriter-actor; self-made multimillionaire American businessman
    Andrew Jackson……7th U.S. President
    Leon Uris……….best-selling American author
    Walter L. Smith…..former president of Florida A&M University
    Patrick Henry…….American Revolutionary War era politician
    Ansel Adams………American wilderness photographer
    Whoopie Goldberg….Oscar-winning actress-comedienne
    Horace Greeley…. American newspaper publisher-editor

    And the list goes on…..!

    So tell me again why does the government want to keep kids in high school..?

    • Walker

      Mostly old exceptions and dead to the rule. Most of the people posting on politics are providing examples of education not being worthwhile, however that does not men one shouldn’t at least try. There is a correlation between education and income but an education will not necessarily get you income.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Some pothead draft dodger lawyer came up with “privilege” like it’s a loophole around civil rights.

    Even when the Minnesota State Constitution specifically says loopholes aren’t allowed.

    • steve

      Not you again……VICTIM DU NEGATIVE….I bet I can count how many people you’ve inspired in your life on my nose.

      • Michael B

        Haha! I’m glad somebody besides me noticed that. Most days I look at the news story comments just to see what paranoid, self-righteous, and ill-informed things he’ll say next. And then I go about my business, thankful that I have more important things to do than post comments on websites ALL DAY.

  • Jobbie

    Great! Uneducated people that can’t drive! Way to pad public transportation and keep the poor in urban areas needing government assistance!

  • cal

    And we think that IF they don’t have a drivers license they will be responsible enough to NOT drive…. What a bunch of morons….

    • cal

      I suppose they will pay taxes too.

    • Me

      Yeah, too bad they can’t pass laws to prevent fellons from having guns I’m sure that would work too.

  • RallyxRN

    I think it is a terrible Idea. I didn’t graduate from highschool and I worked and took care of myself while I got my GED. I am an RN(registered nurse) now that graduated with a 3.9 GPA. Some people have very unsuportive families and have to make it on their own. If someone had taken my license away I would be nowhere today. The school system is failing kids anyway and some of the stupidest people I know graduated from high school.

  • Hard Knocks Grad

    Stupid idea. These are the most troubled kids who make learning for others difficult. They are often the discipline problems and huge under achievers. Let them go into the real world. At least with them gone, test scores might really reflect the learning going on in schools.

  • Tiwari

    Very bad idea. There are better things to do in politics for this state than this ridiculous idea. What the hell are our elected officials doing? JUST BALANCE THE BUDGET AND MAKE IT YOUR ONLY GOAL AT THIS POINT.

  • Bill in MN

    You should be able to leave your opinion without throwing out insults to people with other ideas. Let’s at least be civil! The issues around kids dropping out of school are complex and not easy to solve, but it would seem that this could be one more tool in the toolkit if the program were well designed and allowed exceptions in appropriate circumstances. It seems like there are many states to learn from. For the vast, vast majority of youth, staying is school through graducation is a very important step to self-sufficiency and quality of life. Adding some short-term consequences to help encourage positive long-term behavior may help.

    • Retired teacher

      @Bill, there are plenty of tools in the toolbox; we don’t need this one. If we want to keep these kids in school we can just make it mandatory that they stay in school until 18–rather than 16 as it is now. And the reason it has stayed 16 are for the same reasons that Hard Knocks Grad gives: these kids don’t want to be in school for various reasons and are discipline problems. And Tiwari is right. There are certainly more pressing problems out there for the legislature to solve.

  • DUMB Idea

    My daughter dropped out, worked for a while then worked and got her GED. She has since received 1 degree and will get a 2nd when she graduates next month while also working part time and taking care of her family. While working on her 1st degree, she attended tech school full time, worked 2 parttime jobs and another 1 day a week and took care of her family. If she did not have a license due to dropping out of school, she would not now be a productive employee/citizen with a great education. High school and alternative schooling failed her.

    • Betty

      did your daughter also have a child while not going to school and working?

    • MN Parent

      I’m guessing as a drop out, young and likely single mother, “we” all paid for her to go to school. You cannot support a family on two part time jobs. Had she stayed in school, perhaps she would have postponed having a child, gone to school and would now be paying for her own education which was funded through student loans… just a hunch.

      I think it offers some incentive to these kids. If they want to drive, they need to work hard for it. My own child had to wait until he was 18 to drive. Why? Because I had grade requirements and also required him to pay for it himself. Driving is a serious responsibility that requires maturity. No, it will not stop unlicensed individuals from driving, however, if someone is a drop out and has no motivation to succeed, they may not have the motivation to obtain a license anyway.

      Incidentally, I was a drop out, teenaged mother of the above mentioned child and these are still my views, based on what I have learned through my own experiences.

  • Chuck

    Wait, I have a better idea!! How about having some hands on technical courses is the schools that will actually interest those experiencial learners that we now ignore. Maybe then they will stay in school, AND LEARN A TRADE!!! Oh, I fogot EVERYONE IS SUPPPOSED TO BE A COLLEGE GRADUATE!!!

  • Victim Du Jour


    I think making fun of Draft Dodging pothead lawyers is funny.

    They even busted one up North Snorting coke in the court house.

    They need money!

    • VC

      @ Victim Du Jour
      you need a job would you please stop your negitive talk ALL the time and go slap your mother for giving birth to you

  • Jay

    Who’s in charge of the “think tank” that thought this up? Let’s focus on their process…what, got an idea…let’s make it law. Boneheads
    Really though, aren’t we tired enough of politicians at all levels doing things sort of willy-nilly? And, in a time when opinions seem to be the rage, and communications possiblities are very available; why not pool the population for how to deal with these things? Of course, that might mean giving up a little bit of control….ooooo bad idea…maybe we ought to make that law(?).

  • Victim Du Jour

    @ VC

    I am making funny jokes about lawyers, and you are talking about slapping moms.

    Sorry, I am not the one who is being negative.

    • Quentin

      That was trying to make funny jokes. At least be accurate.

  • Marion

    Take the license from the parents of the dropouts. That will change things.

    • Kat Y

      If it would work I’d say great
      That said – the majority of these kids cannot be controlled by parents. Great thought and with you but nope….never work

      • marion

        thats a responsibility copout. It does however require cooperation between, parents, teachers, police, and government.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Nothing compels me to speak or write proper English at all. the rap music industry doesn’t care what nerdy white people think either.

    Your just trying to change the subject.

  • backed up by what?

    Nope – nothing does. Unless you maybe want to succeed I guess. Then it’s a different duck eh Victim
    I’ll judge you on how you speak. And refuse to hire an idiot.

    BTW – rap isn’t music, it’s trash noise. Profitable trash noise. As many dumb white kids listen to it as black. Hmmmm – what’s that make the dumb ‘burb white kids? Wannabe’s of course. The gals needs the black snake and the boys the slippery tunnels

    • Ignore the Victim and maybe it will go away

      It doesn’t pay to argue with Victim Du Jour. When you argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  • Tom

    To much government. Leave us alone.

    • Tomless

      we do such a great job at governing ourselves now, don’t we Tom? Heck why even have a government that has laws anyway? I say above them all

  • Victim Du Jour

    @Backed up by what

    Booksmart People who color inside the lines are boring, lack creativity and they can’t find work.

    You come across like someone who has to look in the toilet before flushing.

    Math and Science will get you out of the coffee shop and food service industry.

  • Mel.

    This is the best bill our loonie Republican Party has introduced. if passed, can the dropouts parents keep them from taking the family car? Where parents are at work, kids can do what they want, driver’s license or not.

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