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Mississippi high school grad rate goes up, dropout rate down

The Mississippi Department of Education says the state reached its record rate for high school graduation during the recently completed school year.

In a report released Thursday, school districts showed a four-year graduation rate of 80.8 percent for students earning standard diplomas in 2015-16. That’s up from 78.4 percent the previous year.

J.P. Beaudoin, the department’s director of research and development, says Mississippi could soon surpass the national rate if improvement continues. The U.S. high school graduation rate hit 82 percent in 2013-14.

Mississippi’s graduation rate for students with disabilities also increased significantly, to 33.6 percent, up from 27.5 percent the previous school year.

The drop-out rate dipped for the second consecutive year to 11.8 percent, down from 12.8 percent, as districts work to encourage students to stay in school.

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