Lawmakers urged to link students's grades, driver's licenses

CARSON CITY -- The Clark County School Board offered lawmakers what at first glance seemed to be a foolproof way to ensure kids don't drop out of high school. Attend school and earn passing grades, or you can't get a driver's license.

School representatives told the Assembly Education Committee on Monday that tying a driver's license to school attendance is one way to boost the district's 68 percent graduation rate.

Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, said Assembly Bill 64 might backfire. Some students might decide they would rather have a driver's license and just drop out of school, which they can do legally at age 17 in Nevada.

Witnesses denounced a part of the bill that calls for suspensions of driver's licenses of habitual truants -- those with nine or more unexcused abuses -- and suspension of their parents' hunting and fishing licenses. It also could require the parents perform community service.

That would "alienate the very parents our schools are trying to reach," said Dotty Merrill, a lobbyist for the Nevada Association of School Boards.

No action was taken on the bill. Amendments will be considered later .

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3900.