For Immediate Release: January 19, 2010
Sen. Ford Files Legislation to Improve Graduation Rates
One of the most important tools in improving Oklahoma's economy is to increase the number of students who graduate from high school and college. That's according to Sen. John Ford, who has filed legislation requiring schools to set specific goals to increase graduation rates.
"The stark reality is that out of 100 students in Oklahoma that start the ninth grade, only 75 will graduate from high school. Of those 75, just 44 will start college, but only 17 will graduate. Oklahoma can and must do better," said Ford, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. "The bottom line is, the less education a person has, the harder it is to provide a living for themselves and their family. But as we increase graduation rates, those individuals prosper--as do their communities and our entire state."
Ford, who represents Craig, Nowata and Washington counties, is the author of Senate Bill 2139, which creates a formula for schools to set new graduation targets. Those schools would be given two years to meet those goals. Schools unable to meet their graduation goal will receive assistance from the State Department of Education to develop and implement a plan to improve graduation rates.
"Losing a fourth of all high school students is unacceptable. By setting specific goals, we can improve those numbers and in the process, create a better future for our children and for Oklahoma," Ford said.
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