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Most Central Florida students graduate on time, according to new study

Across the state, most schools have about 13 percent of students who don’t graduate on time.
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Across the state, most schools have about 13% of students who don’t graduate on time.

Most Central Florida school kids are graduating on time from high school, according to a new report by the Florida Policy Institute.

But WMFE’s Danielle Prieur reports students at two school districts in the area are struggling to graduate in four years.

Across the state, most schools have about 13% of students who don’t graduate on time.

In Central Florida most school districts are either below or slightly above this state average, except for Polk and Marion County Schools.

In Polk, over 21% of students don’t graduate on time, and in Marion, more than 16% miss the cutoff.

Florida Policy Institute Director Norín Dollard, who compiled the rankings, said there are a number of different factors getting in the way of student achievement post-COVID.

“Ever since the pandemic, most school districts have not rebounded in terms of getting and keeping kids in school and there’s a lot of widespread absenteeism. That is very concerning," said Dollard.

The long-term effects of not getting a high school diploma are steep.

“The higher your level of educational attainment the better you are in your ability to support yourself economically. Having a diploma means you’re likely to make more than someone who doesn’t," said Dollard.

Dollard says the good news is that Marion’s graduation rates improved this year. And across the state, Seminole and Sumter counties had some of the highest percentages of students graduating on time.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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