The California Department of Education released data showing the high school graduation rate is now 78.5 percent, an increase of 1.4 percentage points over the year before.
"California's student graduation rate continues to improve despite record cuts to public education in recent years," said CTA President Dean Vogel. "Nearly eight out of 10 students who started high school in 2008 as the Great Recession hit our nation graduated in 2012. It's a tribute to the hard work of students and their dedicated classroom educators across the state. More Hispanic and African American students are graduating as well, though we know more gains need to be made. Dropout rates are declining, but even one child dropping out is too many."
"Imagine how much better these graduation numbers would be if the state had not cut or deferred more than $20 billion in education funding in recent years. While the passage of the governor's Proposition 30 in November stopped billions in new education cuts, California dropped two spots this year and now ranks 49th in the nation in per-pupil funding. Despite soaring class sizes, layoffs and program cuts over the past several years, teachers are proudly watching more of their students receive high school diplomas and a chance at college and a better future. That will always be good news," the CTA leader concluded.