Montana Dropout Rate Among Worst in Country

By Beacon Staff

A new report says Montana has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the country.

The new Kids Count report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 9 percent of Montana teens ages 16 to 19 had dropped out of high school, putting Montana in a tie for 44th worst among the states. Montana’s dropout rate in 2000 was 7 percent.

Nationally, the dropout rate has fallen from 11 percent in 2000 to 6 percent in 2008.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau says her office will take a proposal to the 2011 Legislature to require students to stay in school until they are 18, or until they graduate. Students can now legally drop out when they are 16.

She says it’s important for state policy to create an expectation that students graduate from high school.

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