Gov. Joe Manchin has signed legislation that will prohibit students from dropping out of school until they are 17 years old.

The High School Graduation Improvement Act will increase the age that students would be exempt from state compulsory attendance law from 16 to 17.

The new law will start with the freshman class of the 2011-12 school year.

West Virginia will be a state where high school students can take GED exams while still in school.

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