Lose Your Patience, Lose Your License


A new Illinois law punishes students who drop out of school or miss more than 18 days without permission by taking away their driver's licenses. State law allows students to stop going to school at 17, but those who exercise that option won't be able to drive legally until they turn 18. Since I'm not sure 16- and 17-year-olds should be trusted with cars at all, it's hard for me to get too worked up about this (although I guess I should be against anything that helps enforce—or, as in this case, extends—compulsory education laws). In any event, I'm skeptical that tying driving privileges to school attendance will keep many teenagers from dropping out. If a student is shortsighted enough to stop school before getting the credential that employers typically will demand, why wouldn't he just drive illegally for a year or so and take his chances? Is this idea more or less promising than paying kids to do well in school?

[Thanks to Taylor Buley for the tip.]