State's Dropout Rate Edges Up

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TAMPA -

Florida's high school graduation rate during the 2005-2006 school year was 71 percent, down about 1 percent from the previous year. The dropout rate for high school students increased slightly, by about one-half percent. Education Commissioner John Winn speculates that some of those students may have simply decided to go to work instead of staying in school.

WINN: We had a banner year last year in terms of job opportunities and job growth in Florida. A lot of those jobs provided opportunities for semi-skilled and unskilled for students on the bubble, if you will, who may be considering dropping out of school and going to work.

Winn has appointed a Dropout Prevention Task Force to look into the situation. The group will meet next month and present its findings to the state legislature in the spring.

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