Graduation rate among Michigan high school students increases for 2nd year in a row - TAI News
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Michigan’s high school graduation rate increased for the second year in a row last year, a state agency says.

According to data released Feb. 23 by the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information, the four-year high school graduation rate was 81.77% in 2023. That’s up slightly from 81.01% in 2022. It’s also the second-highest graduation rate the state has ever seen, behind only the 82.07% graduation rate the state achieved in 2020.

“Rising four-year graduation rates in all categories, above pre-pandemic levels in almost all cases, are a welcome sign that student achievement is rebounding and a tribute to the hard work of Michigan students, educators, support staff, and communities,” Michael Rice, the state superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement.

The new data also showed that graduation rates among students who stay in high school for five years was 84.14% in 2023, up from 83.85% the prior year. The six-year rate, though, slightly declined from 85.21% in 2022 to 84.64% in 2023.

“While our progress has been significant over the last two years, we have more work to do to address graduation rate gaps,” Rice said in the statement. “Local school districts and the department will continue focusing efforts to support students and staff in this regard.”

The news comes as the administration of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to focus heavily on education.

The administration recently launched the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential, which is aimed at expanding access to education at the prekindergarten and postsecondary levels.

In her State of the State address in January, Whitmer pushed for free access to prekindergarten and two years of community college for all Michigan families.

The governor gave more details about her plans for continuing to invest in education when she and Budget Director Jen Flood presented the budget proposal for the 2025 fiscal year to a joint session of the state House and Senate appropriations committees on Feb. 7.

In that proposal, the governor asked for $159 million to expand free pre-K and $30 million to expand the Michigan Achievement Scholarship to allow Michigan high school graduates to attend two years of community college for free.

The governor’s office said the free pre-K initiative could save families as much as $10,000 per year and the scholarship expansion could save $4,820 in tuition for each of approximately 18,000 students per year.

Whitmer’s budget also includes an extra $241 per student in funding for public K-12 schools, meaning the state would fund $9,849 per student in the upcoming fiscal year if the budget passes.

The budget remains under consideration by lawmakers. State budget negotiations typically run through July, and the new fiscal year will begin Oct. 1.

“The Governor’s budget will help kids learn, lower costs, and spark investment and create new jobs in our state,” Flood, the budget director, said in a statement. “I look forward to working with our legislative partners to make Michigan the best state to live, work, raise a family, and care for those we love.”

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