Georgia high school graduation rate hits 82%, a record high

September 18, 2019 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) — State officials announced Wednesday that 82% of Georgia seniors graduated on time from high school in 2018-2019, the highest share on record under the current reporting method.

The nationwide graduation rate was 85% in 2016-2017, the most recent data available. Georgia’s graduation rate has historically lagged both national and regional graduation rates.

State officials said Georgia’s graduation rate has risen from 70% in 2012.

Across the state, 91% of Asian and Pacific Islander students graduated in four years, as did 86% of white students, 80% of African American students and 76% of Hispanic students. Among students with disabilities, 63% graduated on time, as did 59% of those learning English and 77% who come from economically disadvantaged households.

Among Georgia’s 181 school districts, the state Department of Education said 71 saw graduation rates of 90% or more, while 24 districts saw graduation rates of 95% or more. Among the state’s largest school districts, graduation rates fell slightly in Gwinnett County, DeKalb County and Atlanta. They rose in Cobb County, Fulton County, Clayton County and Forsyth County.

State Superintendent Richard Woods said he salutes teachers and students “who are doing the on-the-ground work that leads to increases in our graduation rate and other indicators.”

Federal law requires the state to calculate a four-year graduation rate.