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High School Graduation And Drop-Out Rates Increase

The California high school graduation rate went up in the most recent year for which figures are available, but so did the drop out rate.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said good teachers get the credit for the 70 percent high school graduation rate in 2008 to 2009. That’s a slight increase from the previous year. But he notes that almost 22 percent of high school students dropped out -- a 3 percent increase from the year before.

“The fact that our schools are operating today on $21 billion less than we had anticipated just three short years ago, I believe are contributing towards the drop out rate,” O'Connell said.

O’Connell said he’s been speaking with Democratic lawmakers in the hope that he can secure more funding for education in the next budget.

O’Connell will be replaced by superintendent-elect Tom Torklakson next month.

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