Opinion: Don’t cut freshmen out of driver’s ed

Is it not fair that students born after April 30, 2007 can’t complete drivers education through MCHS


Allie Everhart

The drivers education cars are geared up for students to practice their driving skills, but will freshmen be allowed in the driver’s seat?

Leah Wickenkamp, Freshman Correspondant

Getting your driver’s license when you turn 16 is something everyone looks forward to. A right of passage that everyone deserves to have. Students shouldn’t have to wait an extra year, just for a little bit of freedom.

Freshman that are born after April 30, 2007 are not eligible to take driver’s ed with the school, or over the summer. For students that are eager to get their license when they turn 16, this rule doesn’t seem fair.

“I was very disappointed when I figured out I was ineligible for driver’s ed through the school,” freshman Miah Kucinski says.

MCHS’s driver’s education is $245 while Top Driver, a private driving program, is anywhere from $499 to $925. Some families don’t have that extra money to spend, and doing it through the school would be their best option. Someone’s birthday shouldn’t have to determine when they get their license, or how much it will cost.

I think high school driver’s ed is better,” Anthony Caruso, MCHS’s driver’s ed director says. We have a lot of good experienced teachers who have been doing it here for a long time. It is also cheaper and you can do it during school hours instead of after school or on weekends.” 

These are all great benefits of doing driving lessons through the school, but those benefits only get to be used by teenagers born before April 30. Not only do freshmen after the cutoff date not get to do driver’s ed through the school, but the amount of kids that are eligible have to be put on a waiting list. Since there are lots of seniors, juniors, and sophomores all wanting to get their license, there are not enough teachers willing to help out. There are 150 spots in the driver’s ed program through the school and it goes from oldest to youngest. If all the spots get taken by the upperclassmen, only a few of the oldest freshmen get to join.

If there is short enrollment then they will extend the cutoff date, allowing more kids to join, but even then the students that are born later in the year don’t get a chance, while still trying to get their license when they turn 16.

If the school accepts Freshman first, and the upperclassmen after, they would be able to take away the cutoff date, and allow many more freshmen to get their license when they turn 16. It would be cost efficient for kids’ families, and less time consuming.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the cut-off date for driver’s education as April 30, 2006. The correct cutoff date is April 30, 2007. Learn more about summer driver’s ed from MCHS’s summer school website.