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Florida's High School Graduation Rate Continues Steady Climb, Nearing 87% in 2019

Chris Cutro
Miami Herald
Miami Jackson Senior High students at their graduation in 2015. Florida's statewide graduation rate has steadily risen for more than 15 years.

Palm Beach County has the highest high school graduation rate in South Florida — and it’s the only district in the region that’s outperforming the statewide average, according to newly released data from the Florida Department of Education.

But Palm Beach’s 87.1 percent graduation rate for the class of 2019 is down just slightly from the previous year’s 87.2 percent.

Monroe County also saw a slight drop last year, from 86.4 percent to a flat 86 percent.

Broward saw the biggest jump — and surpassed Miami-Dade. The Broward district now has an 86.2 percent graduation rate, up nearly two full points from the year before.

Miami-Dade saw a slight increase to 85.6 percent.

Statewide, the rate continued its steady increase over the last 15 years, jumping nearly a whole percentage point in 2019 to 86.9 percent.

Female students across Florida reached 90 percent, a graduation rate that’s more than six points higher than males.

State leaders celebrated increases for black and Latino kids, students with disabilities and those who are economically disadvantaged — although achievement gaps persist between them and their white, abled and more affluent peers.

“While these results are a positive mark of Florida’s upward progress, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent,” Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “We must continue striving for educational excellence.”

See the detailed rates here:

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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