Graduation Rates Rise for Students with Disabilities

Article by Michelle Diamont, October 20, 2015

Note: Graduation from high school is important to future employers. As more students with disabilities graduate, the opportunity for employment increases.

Preliminary data released this week by the U.S. Department of Education indicates that graduation rates for children with disabilities increased in 34 states for the 2013-2014 school year. Traditionally, students with disabilities have struggled to graduate high school in the same numbers as typically-developing kids. As of the 2012-2013 school year, the national graduation rate for those with disabilities was nearly 62 percent compared to 81 percent for all students, a record high.

The differential in graduation rates for students with and without disabilities remained steady in 12 states and declined in 21 states. The figures released this week include graduation rates for Washington, D.C. and every state except Idaho, with breakdowns for some subgroups of students by race, disability status and other variables. The data is considered provisional and states can continue to submit updates before it is finalized, so no national graduation rates have been calculated yet.

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