Dropout Rate Problems Persist

State education officials say more students are making it to graduation day. However, a few areas in the East are really struggling with high school dropout rates.

A new report from the state shows the rate of high school kids dropping out is dropping down. Officials say the statewide rate fell from nearly 5 percent in the 2007-2008 school year to about four-and-a-quarter percent in 2008-2009.

Pitt County Schools launched a major campaign in August 2009 to curb its high dropout rate. They created a task force with several partners throughout the community. So far, officials say they have raised $23,000 for their efforts to keep kids in school. Their efforts have not been reflected in the statistics, yet. Officials say the dropout rate in Pitt County stayed the same for this last school year as the year before.

"The dropout rate in PCS is not acceptable," Superintendent Beverly Reep said in a press release. “We have an aggressive plan in place and will continue to make this a top priority for our school district. We also need the community’s continued support to ensure that all of our students realize the value of a high school diploma."

Pitt County's dropout rate of 6.4 percent means it continues to have one of the highest dropout rates in the state. Other systems with high dropout rates include Roanoke Rapids City Schools at 6.9 percent and Beaufort County Schools, at 6 percent.

Tyrrell and Dare County Schools have two of the lowest dropout rates, at 1.1 percent and two percent, respectively.

To see more of the state report, which includes details on violence, suspensions and expulsions, click here.

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