Tampa Bay counties see spike in graduation rates

By The Numbers
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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- Florida’s graduation rates are continuing to improve, especially in the Tampa Bay area.

In data released Thursday, Florida’s Department of Education that local counties are pushing beyond last year’s record graduation rates.

Hillsborough County students pushed the district’s graduation rate to a record 86.2 percent, with an even higher graduation rate of 91.3 percent among its traditional high schools,

Benefits of high graduation rates extend beyond the students, Students who graduate with a high school diploma earn $380,000 more during their lifetimes compared to students who do not graduate – translating to a $2.5 billion dollar boost to our local community over the past five years, according to Hillsborough County School Board spokeswoman Tanya Arja.

“What is amazing is that our dedicated staff is making it happen with more students coming through our doors. Just five years ago, our district was graduating about 10,000 students a year,” said Hillsborough Superintendent, Jeff Eakins. “This past year, our district graduated 14,231 students, putting them on a path for a bright future.”

Pinellas County School Board officials are also celebrating a record graduation rate of 88.4 percent, giving the county the highest graduation rate among the state’s ten largest districts.

One of Pinellas County highlights: the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) graduation rates jumped to 79.7 percent— 7.2 percent points, the highest in district history.

“While these results are a positive mark of Florida’s upward progress, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “We must continue striving for educational excellence and making Florida the number one state in the nation for education.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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