At What Age Can You Drop Out of School in California?

As of 2014, students in California who are 16 and 17 years old can leave school if they have graduated high school, passed the California High School Proficiency Exam, or CHSPE, or have permission from their parents. Students who do not have at least one of these requirements are required to stay in school until they turn 18 years of age.

California’s Compulsory Education Law, Education Code Section 48200-48208, states that all students are required to attend school full-time beginning at age 6. Education Code Section 48412 establishes the CHSPE for student who want to test out of high school. Students who pass the CHSPE receive the equivalent of a California high school diploma.