Newton-conover

In North Carolina and 21 other states kids only have to go to school till they’re sixteen years old.  But next year Hickory and Newton-Conover Schools will raise the dropout age to eighteen. 

That sixteen year old dropout age harkens back to another time when you could easily get a good-paying job in a furniture factory or textile mill without a high school diploma.  

“That’s drastically changed.  A kid drops out of school at 16 today, with rare exception, there aren’t any satisfactory jobs available,” says Jerry Phillips, a retired businessman in Hickory.